Modi to host virtual SCO summit today

India is set to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on Tuesday, albeit in a virtual format. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over the nearly two-hour meeting, which will include the Presidents of Russia, China, four Central Asian countries and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Iran is expected to be accepted as the ninth member of SCO, while Belarus may join as the 10th member for the next year’s summit in Bishkek. The summit will focus on topics such as connectivity, trade, Afghanistan and Ukraine conflict, boosting connectivity and trade, and India’s theme for its SCO Presidency is “SECURE”. The virtual summit will take place at a time when India is facing a border standoff with China and has downgraded diplomatic ties with Pakistan. A three-day in-person BRICS Sherpa meeting will begin in Durban the same day.

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