Modi, Imran Khan exchange pleasantries in Bishkek

06/14/2019

Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), June 14: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan exchanged pleasantries on Friday during the SCO summit in Bishkek, official sources said.

Modi exchanged usual pleasantries with Khan in the Leaders’ Lounge at venue of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit here, they said.

It is also learnt that Khan congratulated Modi on his election victory during their first face-to-face interaction.

However, there was no meeting between the two leaders, sources said.

Both Modi and Khan were here to attend the annual summit of the SCO.

The exchange of pleasantries came over two weeks after Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote separate letters to their Indian counterparts, pushing for restarting the bilateral talks.

India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by a Pakistan-based terror group, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together. 

Khan had also made a telephone call to Modi on May 26 and expressed his desire to work together for the betterment of people of the two countries.

On his part, Modi said creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

Following the phone call and letter by Khan to Prime Minister Modi after his re-election for a second term, there were speculation that both may have a meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit here.

Modi arrived here in the Kyrgyz capital on Thursday on a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the SCO. He held bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

He also held talks with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on Friday during a bilateral visit during which the two countries upgraded their relations to strategic partnership level. Agencies

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