Modi-Xi meeting: PM arrives in Qingdao for SCO Summit

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The two leaders also chose to set up a new mechanism for people-to-people cooperation to build on the momentum in bilateral ties from their unprecedented informal summit in Wuhan almost six weeks back.

Prime Minister Modi had detailed discussions with President Xi on bilateral and global issues on the sidelines Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit here.

India and China have agreed to set up a mechanism to enhance people-to-people exchanges. "Tomorrow, we will hold the first summit of the SCO after its expansion and draw up a blueprint for its future growth", Xi said.

"One of the important outcomes of today's meeting was that the Chinese side conveyed that they accepted (Modi's) invitation to President Xi Jinping to have a similar informal summit in India in 2019", he said. "He stated that it was a new starting point in our bilateral relationship".

"Met this year's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation host, President Xi Jinping this evening", Modi tweeted.

India and China on Saturday agreed on measures to build on the consensus achieved by their leaders during recent talks in Wuhan, including the next informal summit to be held in India in 2019 and steps to maintain peace along the disputed border.

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Sharing some aspects of the almost 50-minute meeting, the foreign secretary said Xi described the Wuhan summit as a "new starting point" in bilateral relations between the two countries while prime minister called it as a "milestone" in ties which will help in developing mutual understanding and trust.

President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday held a bilateral meeting with his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani and discussed relations between the two countries and the prevailing situation in the region, said a statement.

Asia Times anticipates this year's SCO meeting could be much more successful than the 17 previous outings because relations between Russian Federation and China have improved so dramatically.

The two leaders also spoke about ensuring greater people-to-people contact, with Xi talking about the popularity of Indian films like Dangal, Bahubaali and Hindi Medium in China. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The SCO member countries are also expected to arrive at a decision on counter-terrorism military exercises, which will mean that Indian and Pakistan's militaries will participate in joint exercises.

The first MoU was inked between China's Ministry of Water Resources and India's Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation upon provision of hydrological information of the Brahmaputra river in flood season by China to India. China is gambling its diplomatic credibility on the chance it can facilitate better relations between India and Pakistan at the SCO summit.

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