Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 | Last Update : 06:12 PM IST

  India   All India  11 May 2019  No India, Pakistan bilateral talks at SCO meet: Govt

No India, Pakistan bilateral talks at SCO meet: Govt

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 11, 2019, 1:40 am IST
Updated : May 11, 2019, 5:27 am IST

This is also expected to be the last major foreign policy engagement of the Modi government in its current tenure.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: ANI)
 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: In the wake of Pakistan’s reported assertion on Thursday that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi may in all likelihood interact with each other during the forthcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ministerial meeting at Kyrgyzstan on May 21 and 22 despite there being no formal bilateral meeting planned, Government sources in New Delhi on Friday made it clear that no separate bilateral meeting or deliberations between the two leaders had been planned or would take place. However, there remains the possibility of Ms Swaraj and Mr Qureshi exchanging pleasantries with each other. The two-day SCO meeting will take place just ahead of the crucial election counting day on May 23 in India. This is also expected to be the last major foreign policy engagement of the Modi government in its current tenure.

“No bilateral meeting has been planned,” Government sources in New Delhi said. The SCO is an eight-member Central Asian Grouping that comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. India and Pakistan became SCO members in 2017.

News agency reports from Islamabad had cited the Pakistani foreign ministry on Thursday as saying that Ms Swaraj and Mr Qureshi may interact among themselves and with other ministers of the SCO member-nations during the multilateral ministerial meeting although no formal bilateral meeting between the two had been planned.

In October last year at the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting at Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Ms Swaraj and Mr Qureshi had stood in the same photo-frame for a group photograph in what had then been described by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) as an “SCO family photo”.

Tags: sushma swaraj, shanghai cooperation organisation
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi