At Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, India-Uzbekistan Discuss Bilateral Ties

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Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi's departure statement prior to his visit to Qingdao in China.

In tomorrow's meeting, Modi and Xi are likely to take stock of progress in implementation of decisions they had taken at the informal summit. The Special Representatives on the border issue will also meet this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping Modi hold talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Qingdao on June 9, 2018.

Describing the almost hour-long meeting as "substantial" and "forward looking", foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said both leaders made a very positive assessment of developments since they last met in the central city of Wuhan during April 28-29.

The India-China bilateral trade reached $84.44 billion a year ago, according to data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs in March.

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Both sides have said the Wuhan summit helped put the troubled relationship back on an even keel.

Last week, Modi had said that Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together with trust and confidence while being sensitive to each other's interests.

Discussions in the summit will take place on diverse issues ranging from combating terrorism, separatism and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health and agriculture, protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk and fostering people-to-people relations. "Ties between our nations have their roots in history", PM Modi said in a tweet.

The Indian foreign secretary agreed, saying the talks were "underpinned by the spirit of the Wuhan summit". The two leaders also agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation on all issues of mutual interest.

To that end, one of the agreements signed on Saturday amended the 2006 protocol on phytosanitary requirements for exporting rice from India to include the export of non-basmati varieties of rice.

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The other agreement was on sharing hydrological data on the Brahmaputra. For India, hydrological data is helpful in preparing for floods in the Northeast.

China's Belt and Road Initiative was also strongly opposed by India as part of it goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Xi said China will encourage Indian companies to register in China for exports.

Recalling that he and Prime Minister Modi successfully had an informal meeting and reached important consensus in Wuhan, President Xi said the meeting had been well received by both countries and the worldwide community, and a positive atmosphere is taking shape to pay close attention to and support the development of China-India relations.

"On Afghanistan, there was a brief discussion on the projects. We are facing a very volatile region", she said.

"So, we have to begin the process of identifying it (the project)", he added.

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Luo said it was the 14th meeting between our two leaders over past four years.

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