SCO summit: PM Modi, Erdogan shelves Kashmir, discuss trade

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation (SCO) summit on Friday, in their first encounter in over two years since relations soured after the latter’s comments on the situation in Kashmir.

In early 2020, India’s government had summoned the Turkish ambassador to lodge a diplomatic protest after Erdogan, on a visit to Pakistan, said the situation in Kashmir was worsening. His comments came after the Modi government’s August 2019 decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

The meeting was not included in Modi’s tentative schedule.

“The two leaders discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors,” the Prime Minister’s Office said on Twitter, posting a photo of him shaking hands with Erdogan on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Uzbekistan.

The foreign ministry’s spokesperson said on Twitter that the two leaders “appreciated recent gains in bilateral trade. Also exchanged views on regional & global developments”.

The foreign ministry’s spokesperson said on Twitter that the two leaders “appreciated recent gains in bilateral trade. Also exchanged views on regional & global developments”.

Putin was also at the SCO summit and Modi was due to meet him separately to discuss trade and other issues later in the day.

In his address, Prime Minister Modi called upon SCO member states to give transit access to each other and pitched for boosting connectivity for ensuring resilient supply chains for the region – inferred as a comment on Pakistan’s delay in allowing passage of Indian relief to Afghanistan. (Reuters)

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