India will invite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) annual summit it is hosting later this year.
Last year, the SCO summit was held in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in June and was attended by all heads of governments including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Khan. There was however, no bilateral meetings were held between Prime Minister Modi and Khan on the sidelines of the SCO Summit.
This year, India will host the summit and leaders of all eight member-states of SCO, four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The summit is likely to be hosted in capital New Delhi.
“It is now a public knowledge that India will be hosting the SCO council of heads of govt meeting later this year. The meeting is held annually at the Prime Minister’s level and it discusses the SCO’s program and multilateral economic and trade co-operation,” he said.
“As per the established practice and procedure within SCO all 8 members of SCO, as well as 4 observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited to attend the meeting,” Kumar added.
The SCO, a group focused on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region, was founded in 2001 by Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India was an observer at the SCO summit since 2005 and participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping.
Both India and Pakistan were given full member status Astana summit in June 2017 and this is the first time India will be hosting the annual gathering of the top leaders.