India’s Modi, China’s Xi to come face-to-face for first time since border clashes

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will come face-to-face on Friday for the first time since deadly border clashes in 2020 frayed ties between the Asian rivals.

Modi will fly to the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Thursday for a summit of the regional security group known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which will also be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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The event comes after Indian and Chinese soldiers this week disengaged at a disputed area along a remote western Himalayan border after more than two years of a standoff.

Modi and Xi have not spoken to each other since the standoff began.

India’s foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra told a news conference on Thursday that Modi would have bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit on Friday but declined to confirm a one-on-one with Xi.

China has also not confirmed a meeting between the two leaders.

The SCO’s permanent members are China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

Russia has already confirmed a bilateral meeting between Putin and Modi, during which they are expected to talk about overall trade as well as sales of Russian fertilizers and mutual food supplies.

Kwatra said broader SCO discussions would range from trade and regional security to tourism and terrorism.

Read more: Putin, Xi set to meet in Uzbekistan

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