PM Arrives in Russia Today for 2 Key Summits, Likely to Meet Xi Jinping and Nawaz Sharif

New Delhi (NDTV): On the sidelines of the summits, he is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday, July 10.

BRICS, which is an acronym for its five member countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – will launch its new development bank with a $100 billion contingency reserve. The first head of the bank is noted Indian banker KV Kamath.

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With President Xi, the PM will discuss bilateral ties at a time when India has expressed unhappiness over the proposed $46 billion economic corridor that would pass through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, and also over China’s support to Pakistan over the release of Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

“I expect positive outcomes in economic cooperation and cultural ties among the BRICS nations,” PM Modi said as he left Delhi on Monday.

At the summit of the SCO, a security bloc led by China and Russia, India and Pakistan are expected to be accorded full membership of the six-nation grouping that currently also includes former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

India has so far only had Observer status in the grouping, the focus of which is boosting connectivity, counter-terrorism cooperation, bolstering cooperation in the energy sector, enhancing trade and dealing with drug trafficking.

All eyes will however be on PM Modi and Mr Sharif’s expected meeting. Officials have been tight-lipped on the details and structure of the meeting. Mr Modi and Mr Sharif last met at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu last November; they did not hold formal talks.

At the Ufa meeting, sources say, PM Modi is expected to raise India’s concerns on terrorism, including the release of Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the 26/11 mastermind who has walked free earlier this year.

Sources have said PM Modi’s phone call to Mr Sharif at the start of the holy month of Ramzan set the tone and broke the ice. However, sources have said this is no way indicates the resumption of dialogue just yet.

PM Modi is on a eight-day visit of Central Asian countries. He has visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and will visit Kyrgystan and Tajikistan after the two summits in Russia.

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