SCO 2022: Leaders from various countries arrive for 22nd meeting amid fireworks in Samarkand


Samarkand [Uzbekistan]: The city of Samarkand is all decked up with colourful lights as the SCO Heads of State arrive in the Uzbekistan capital to review the groupings activities and discuss prospects for future cooperation. Fireworks were displayed in Samarkand as leaders from various countries arrived for the 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that will commence on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Thursday evening to participate in the SCO Heads of State Summit. 

The leaders received warm hospitality from Uzbekistan, the current chair of SCO 2022. They were seen enjoying themselves before they get down to business to tackle the most crucial current global challenges on Friday. Experiencing the delight of music and food the leaders strolled through the city of Samarkand leisurely enjoying the city`s rich culture. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif were among other leaders who were spotted touring the city ahead of the first in-person meeting of the SCO Heads of State. 

Also read: SCO Summit: PM Modi likely to meet Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan 

India will assume the SCO`s rotational annual presidency at the Samarkand Summit`s end. This is the first in-person SCO Summit after the Covid pandemic hit the world. The last in-person SCO Heads of State Summit was held in Bishkek in June 2019.

The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey). The Shanghai Five, formed in 1996, became the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. 

Also read: Even friendly countries now look at Pak as country with ‘begging bowl’: Sharif

 

With India and Pakistan entering the grouping in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organisations, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world`s population. 




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