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February 20, 2020
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India to invite Pakistan for SCO summit, says MEA

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India is likely to invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the 19th council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which will be hosted by India later this year.

Replying to a question on whether Pakistan will be invited when India hosts the SCO heads of government meet this year, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said all eight member countries and four observers will be invited.

 

For the first time, India will host the annual meeting of council of heads of government of the SCO, the grouping’s Secretary General Vladimir Norov had said on Monday.

Usually, the heads of government meeting of the SCO is represented by foreign ministers while a number of countries send their prime ministers also.

India has always been represented by the external affairs minister in the heads of government meeting while the SCO heads of state summit is attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Pakistan is a member of the SCO and it will be interesting to see who represents the country in the meeting in India.

India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

Along with India, Pakistan was also granted membership of SCO in 2017.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.

With inputs from PTI

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