Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his eight-day tour to five countries on Monday morning. The Prime Minister will be visiting five Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and Russsia. He will be participating in BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Russia, where the key highlight of his tour will be a possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
According to sources, PM Modi and Pakistan PM Sharif, who will be present in Ufa, Russia to attend SCO summit, will be meeting on the sidelines of it on the 10th July. However, the details of the meeting were not specified.
PM Modi landed in Uzbekistan on Monday afternoon where he was received by his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev. During his visit, the Prime Minister is slated to meet Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov where the two leaders are expected to sign key agreements to strengthen cooperation between the two countries
Earlier in a statement on his forthcoming visit to Uzbekistan, PM Modi had said, “India and Uzbekistan enjoy a close strategic partnership…I am confident that this visit will be a major step towards further expanding India-Uzbekistan ties”.
After Uzbekistan, he will proceed to Kazakhstan for a day’s visit.
He will then depart for Russia on the 8th July to participate in the SCO Summit to be held in Ufa. The summit may see India getting the membership of the six-nation grouping comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which could be a major highlight of the visit. As of now, India has only an observer status.
The Summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the important economies across the world, will focus on discussions on enhancing cooperation in economic field, including the possibility of trade in local currency.
With the BRICS Development Bank already set up, the Summit could look at the possibility of starting credit facility in local currency. The first head of the bank is noted Indian banker K V Kamath.
Another important highlight of PM Modi’s five nation visit will be the paying of tributes to late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Uzbekistan.
“It was in Tashkent that we lost one of our most popular and respected leaders, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, who ignited our nation with the clarion call of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’,” the prime Minister said in a statement in New Delhi.
(With inputs from the PTI)