PM Shehbaz Sharif To Attend SCO Summit Hosted By India Says Pakistan Foreign Ministry

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will participate in a virtual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on July 4, the country’s foreign ministry said in an official statement issued on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited his Pakistani counterpart to attend the event, which India is hosting this year. Leaders from SCO member countries will meet via video conference to discuss regional cooperation and key issues of mutual interest.

The statement read: “Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will participate in the 23rd Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State (CHS) being held in videoconference format on 4th July 2023.”

“The invitation to the Prime Minister to attend the SCO-CHS was extended by the Prime Minister of India in his capacity as the current Chair of the SCO,” it added. 

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Chinese President Xi Jinping To Participate In Virtual SCO Summit: 

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend next week’s virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) hosted by India, according to an official announcement made earlier in the day.

President Xi will attend the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of the SCO via video conference in Beijing on July 4 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in a brief press release.

This is the first official confirmation of Xi’s participation in the SCO summit, which India will host. 

On September 16, last year, India assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO at the Samarkand Summit.

In May, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that India will host the SCO annual summit in virtual format on July 4. It did not, however, explain why the summit was being held virtually. 

The SCO is a powerful economic and security bloc that has grown to become one of the largest transregional international organisations. The SCO was established in 2001 at a summit in Shanghai by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.

Ahead of the summit, which will be held for the first time under India’s presidency, India unveiled an exquisitely designed “New Delhi Hall” at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing on Tuesday.

While Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have halls highlighting their cultures and unique features, India is the first to add its own.

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