Samarkand [Uzbekistan], September 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exchanged views on regional and global developments as they met on the sidelines of the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand on Friday.
"PM Narendra Modi held talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand. The two leaders discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse sectors," PMO India tweeted.
The two leaders reviewed the India-Turkey relations. "While noting the increase in recent years in economic relations, particularly bilateral trade, they acknowledged the potential for further enhancement of economic and commercial linkages," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.
They also exchanged views on regional and global developments. Both leaders agreed to maintain regular contacts not just on bilateral issues, but also for the benefit of the region, the release added.
Notably, this was 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.
Ahead of the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other leaders also posed for a group photograph.
The SCO 2022 summit was chaired by Uzbekistan, whereas India will be the next chair of the SCO.
Russian President Putin congratulated India for assuming the presidency the following year. Apart from the Russian President, Chinese President Xi Jinping also congratulated India for the SCO Presidency in 2023 during the meeting of the expanded circle of the Heads of SCO.
"I congratulate India for hosting the SCO next year," Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a statement during the summit.
The SCO currently comprises of nine Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus 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. 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. (ANI)