PM Modi Skips SCO Summit in Kazakhstan: S Jaishankar to Lead Indian Delegation – Find Out Why!

S Jaishankar to Lead Indian Delegation at SCO Summit in Kazakhstan as PM Modi Skips Event

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will head the Indian delegation at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Kazakhstan next month, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to forgo the meeting.An advance security team had previously visited Kazakhstan in preparation for PM Modi’s expected attendance at the SCO Summit.

Initially, the Indian government had confirmed PM Modi’s visit to Astana for the summit on July 3-4. However, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal announced during a media briefing on Friday that Jaishankar would now lead the delegation. No further details were provided.

While the official reasons for PM Modi’s absence have not been disclosed, it is believed that his commitments to the ongoing parliamentary session, which runs until July 3, and the strained relations with China were significant factors. PM Modi’s position was communicated to Kazakhstan during a phone call with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday.

During the call, both leaders reaffirmed their dedication to enhancing the bilateral strategic partnership. PM Modi also expressed India’s full support for the success of the SCO Summit in Astana, as per the Ministry of External Affairs.

Had he attended, PM Modi would have encountered Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan President Shehbaz Sharif. The SCO comprises nine member states: India, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

In 2014, India was represented at the SCO Summit by its Foreign Minister. PM Modi attended the next five summits before the COVID-19 pandemic. He participated virtually in 2021 and traveled to Uzbekistan for the 2022 summit, where he urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease the conflict in Ukraine.

India hosted last year’s SCO Summit, which was converted to a virtual event due to reports that the Chinese and Russian presidents would not travel to India for the meeting.

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