Modi meets Uzbek President

Indo Asian News Service

Astana, June 9 (IANS) Prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit here.

"Taking forward #IndiaUzbekistan coop'n. PM @narendramodi meets President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan on the sidelines of SCO Summit," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted with a picture of both leaders.

India and Pakistan were expected to be granted full membership of the SCO, which also includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, at the Summit here on Friday. India has been a observer to the Eurasian bloc since 2005.

Modi began his engagements on Friday with a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and thanked him for China's support for India's membership of the SCO.

On Thursday, soon after his arrival here, Modi held a bilateral meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev during the course of which the two leaders discussed ways to expand bilateral ties, including development of the Chabahar port in Iran.

Later in the night, Modi exchanged pleasantries with Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif at the Leaders Lounge at the Astana Opera here. This was the first meeting between the two leaders after 17 months.

After participating in the SCO Summit on Friday, Modi will attend the World Exposition, which Kazakhstan is hosting this year, before returning to India.

--IANS

ab/vt