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Newsline: Indian diplomacy seen as showing ace performance at Samarkand

The 22nd summit of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) took place in Uzbekistan’s capital Samarkand, last week. In his address at the summit, Modi obdurately touched every relevant aspect of the current geo-political situation. In a speech that was otherwise free from references to India’s regional issues on terrorism with Pakistan and on territorial sovereignty with China, Modi called for greater cooperation in the Eurasian region. He also focused on initiatives on manufacturing that India is willing to pilot in the next year, when India assumes the chair of the SCO and hosts the Summit in mid-2023. The most important meeting from India’s standpoint was a possible meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In fact, Samarkand offered the perfect opportunity for two leaders to reset the ties. But there seemed little willingness from the two sides, to compromise. Modi and Xi have met twice earlier but that is not enough to read each other’s thoughts and also make a convincing and principled case, though both the countries stand to gain much economically, if ties are improved. Modi’s bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit also received a lot of attention. The two leaders shared the customary diplomatic greetings, with Modi specifically emphasising that the modern era was not a time of war. According to reports, Putin acknowledged India’s position on the Ukrainian conflict and reaffirmed his commitment to a speedy resolution. India and Chinese leaders expressing their concerns directly with the Russian leader about the war in Ukraine is reflective of global concerns. The manner in which Modi and his diplomatic team carried the business at Samarkand shows the maturity and coming of age of the Indian diplomacy under the Prime Minister. (https://in.investing.com/news/indian-diplomacys-ace-performance-at-samarkand-3348159) India will be hosting the next SCO Summit in 2023, and this will offer Modi an opportunity to develop the organisation into a more meaningful and cohesive organisation.

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