SCO summit: PM Modi calls for transit access among member states

Modi and Xi come face-to-face for the first time since the start of the border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh around 28 months back

Modi SCO summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Pic: Prasar Bharati

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Friday deliberated on the regional security situation and ways to enhance trade and connectivity at the annual summit of the grouping.

It is for the first time Modi and Xi came face-to-face at the summit in this historic Uzbek city since the start of the border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh around 28 months back. However, there is no clarity yet on whether there will be a bilateral meeting between Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the summit.

Explained: Modi will meet Putin, Xi at Uzbekistan SCO summit; what’s on agenda?

The summit is also being attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and leaders of several central Asian countries.


The summit of the eight-nation influential grouping is taking place amid the growing geopolitical turmoil largely triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and China’s aggressive military posturing in the Taiwan Strait.

Ahead of the deliberations at the restricted format of the summit, leaders of the permanent members of the bloc posed for a group photo at Samarkand’s Congress Centre.

Mirziyoyev greets Modi

At the venue of the summit, Modi was greeted by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

“President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan welcomed PM@narendramodi to the Congress Centre in Samarkand for the 22nd SCO Summit. India has been working closely with Uzbekistan towards the success of their Chairship,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

In another tweet, he said: “PM @narendramodi joins the leaders of SCO Member States for discussions on topical, regional and international issues, including regional peace and security, trade and connectivity, culture and tourism.”

After the summit, Modi will have separate bilateral meetings with Putin, Mirziyoyev and Raisi.

What Modi said

Narendra Modi has asked SCO member states to give transit access to each other and pitched for boosting connectivity for ensuring resilient supply chains for the region.

In his address, Modi also said that India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent this year, which will be the highest among the world’s major economies.

Modi said there is a need for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to develop reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains in the region against the backdrop of disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic and the Ukraine crisis.

Modi’s call for providing transit access comes amid Pakistan’s reluctance to give India such facilities for sending goods to war-torn Afghanistan. He said that India supports mutual trust and cooperation among SCO countries.

“The pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine have caused many disruptions in global supply chains, leaving the world facing unprecedented energy and food crises,” he said.

“The SCO should strive to develop reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains in our region. For this, better connectivity will be required, as well as it will also be important that we all give full rights of transit to each other,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the government is making progress in making India a manufacturing hub.

“There is a lot of focus on the proper use of technology in our people-centric development model,” he said.

(With Agency inputs)