Enhance connectivity without infringing sovereignty: Modi at SCO

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev meet in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana

While Modi during his speech has specifically stressed on the need of a united approach to combat terrorism, Modi said, "it was impossible to reach a solution till all countries made concerted efforts to fight radicalization, terrorist recruitment, training and financing".

Beijing-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) formalized on Friday the admission of India and Pakistan during the political and security grouping's summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

President Jinping said China and India, as the two largest developing countries in the world, should focus more on cooperation, advance side by side, lend support to each other's development, uphold world peace and promote common development.

The bloc's summit was hosted by the Kazakhistan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the independence palace, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif were also present.

India recently stayed away from the summit on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the landmark $ 50 billion project of President Xi Jinping of China, as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor of the BRI passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). In his address, Modi said SCO could also devote attention towards climate change.

The Chinese President said his country is willing to cooperate with India within the SCO framework and contribute to the healthy and sustained development of the organisation. Official sources said Modi and Sharif were in the Leaders Lounge at the Astana Opera tonight before the SCO concert where they exchanged greetings.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan are members of the Shanghai organization. As SCO members, India and Pakistan troops may jointly take part in anti-terrorism exercises, which is an irony considering that their membership of Saarc has done little to rein in terrorism.

PM Nawaz Sharif along with his delegation is visiting Kazakhstan to attend meeting of the Heads of State Council of SCO.

PM Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the Summit and underscored the need to respect each other's "core concerns" and appropriately handle the disputes.

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