SCO Summit 2023: India To Host Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Shehbaz Sharif In Virtual Meeting Today; Details Inside

India is hosting the next Shanghai Cooperation Summit 2023 virtually on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be chairing the meeting and all SCO member countries are expected to attend it including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other world leaders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at SCO Summit in Uzbekistans Samarkand

A Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit will be held on Tuesday virtually and this time India will be hosting the meeting. The summit will be attended by all the SCO members including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan's PM Shehbaz Sharif. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also expected to attend the meeting today amid controversy over the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine.

On June 30, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation where they reportedly discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation and the upcoming SCO and G20 summits. 

What is the SCO Summit?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation comprises India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and it is an influential economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan became its permanent member along with India in 2017.

India assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO at the Samarkand Summit of SCO on September 16 last year.

Heads of the two SCO bodies -- the secretariat and the SCO RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) are also set to attend Tuesday's virtual summit whose theme is "Towards a SECURE SCO'.

The SECURE acronym was coined by Prime Minister Modi at the 2018 SCO summit and it stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment.

Who are the participants of the SCO Summit?

All the member countries of the organisation are expected to participate in the summit on Tuesday which includes Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Other than the member countries, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have been invited as Observer States. As per the SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair. Heads of the two SCO Bodies, the Secretariat and the SCO RATS, will also be present.

Heads of six international and regional organisations have also been invited to the summit. The organisations are the UN, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation), EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) and CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia).

Notably, Pakistan has been facing criticism from across the world for harbouring terrorists and issues of inflation and corruption on the political front are also talked about.

What is the agenda of the countries?

The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) under India's presidency is also set to welcome Iran as the new permanent member of the grouping.

The situation in Afghanistan, the Ukraine conflict and enhancing cooperation among the SCO member countries are expected to figure in the summit, people familiar with the matter said, adding boosting connectivity and trade is also likely to be discussed. 

(With PTI inputs)