Global Affairs Desk

Tue Jun 18 2024

An India, Pakistan and China Trilateral Meet at SCO summit in Uzbekistan

~ By Aarush J on 7/27/2022

An India, Pakistan and China Trilateral Meet at SCO summit in Uzbekistan

India, Pakistan and China are expected to meet this week at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ summit in Uzbekistan. This will be the first-ever meeting of the foreign ministers since Imran Khan’s government was ousted earlier when External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr Subramanian Jaishankar will sit for a direct conversation with Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) administration. The meeting was indicated by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a presser on July 22 (Thursday).

The SCO summit is scheduled to take place on September 15 and 16 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan while the conference on Afghanistan will take place on July 28th and 29th. However, the MEA did not inform about bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also be attending the summit under the Uzbek presidency. The meeting between Dr Jaishankar and Wang Yi will also review the outcome of the 16th round of talks or negotiations between the military leaders of the two countries over the spat at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

The Foreign Ministers meeting is likely to pave the way for a comprehensive meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the September Summit for the first time in six years. Reports regarding the possibility of Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s presence at the meet have also been floating around. Although no structured meetings have been confirmed by the MEA yet, diplomatic sources said that any requests for bilateral meetings from Pakistan will not be turned down.

This year, the summit will be hosted by Uzbekistan under a rotating presidency. The priorities of the meeting have been stressed by the chair, which include efforts to eradicate poverty and food insecurity, put together trade and development between the partners to ensure peace and stability, digitalise customs processes, and more.

Dr Jaishankar and Wang Yi also met on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting at Bali in Indonesia on July 7. In the meeting, EAM Jaishankar called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. Recalling the disengagement achieved in some areas, Dr Jaishankar reiterated the need to sustain the momentum of total disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas. The possibility of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the three countries remains pertinent.

The tensions between India and China have remained volatile, especially after the border stand-off in Eastern Ladakh. Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif, unlike Imran Khan, stated that he hoped for "good relations with India." However, he highlighted that for cordial ties, the issue of Kashmir remained vital. Sharif also denounced the scrapping of Article 370, following the repercussions in Jammu and Kashmir.  

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