Putin Arrives In Bishkek Ahead Of SCO Summit
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BISHKEK Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the Kyrgyz capital to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional grouping led by Moscow and Beijing.
Ahead of the summit in Bishkek, Putin is set to hold separate talks with Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on June 13.
It will be the first meeting between Putin and Modi since the Indian prime minister secured a second term last month following his party's victory parliamentary elections.
The Kremlin has said that the Russian president will also take part in a trilateral meeting with the leaders of China and Mongolia on the sidelines of the SCO summit, which will officially take place on June 14.
Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan established the SCO a Eurasian political, economic, and security grouping in the early 2000s. India and Pakistan joined in 2017. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia have observer status.
On June 13, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov discussed bilateral ties and regional security issues with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, according to the Kyrgyz presidential office.
Jeenbekov said after the talks that Bishkek and Beijing have "a common standpoint on the fight against three evils: terrorism, extremism, and separatism."
He added that Kyrgyzstan supported China's position regarding Taiwan, saying, "Taiwan is inseparable part of China and the Kyrgyz side supports China in that matter."
Beijing regards the island state as a rebel region that must be reunited with China's mainland.
Jeenbekov also said that the internment of ethnic Kyrgyz and other mostly Muslim indigenous people in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang was an "internal matter" for China.
"Kyrgyzstan supports the leadership of the Chinese People's Republic in that matter as well," he said.
After the summit in Kyrgyzstan, Putin, Xi, Central Asian leaders, and top officials from dozens of other countries will convene on June 15 in neighboring Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Putin said in a televised interview on June 13, that a range of issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear deal, will be discussed at the gathering.
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