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Modi holds fruitful talks with Xi, Putin

Modi holds fruitful talks with Xi, Putin

Bishkek: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Russian President Vladimir Putin here and the two leaders reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further strengthen the strategic relationship.

This is the first meeting between the two leaders after Modi's re-election following the stunning victory of the BJP in the general elections last month.

"PM @narendramodi and President Putin had a wonderful meeting in Bishkek. Various subjects pertaining to India-Russia relations were discussed during the meeting," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the two leaders "reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further strengthen the strategic relationship."

Briefing the media after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that it was a "brief but very very rich" meeting in terms of content.

He said that defence and energy were a key focus during their talks. The two leaders also reviewed trade and investment ties and noted that they're on an upward trajectory.

Modi thanked the Russian President for his support for the AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles manufacturing unit in Amethi, an India-Russia joint venture. Gokhale said there will be a Russia, India and China trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan later this month.

President Putin invited Prime Minister Modi formally to be the main guest at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia in early September, and he warmly accepted the invitation, Gokhale said.

Earlier, Chinese president Xi Jinping accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to visit India later this year for an informal summit, the foreign ministry said Thursday after the two leaders held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO summit.

PM Modi had reached Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, earlier Thursday to take part in the two-day summit that focuses on trade and security issues.

"PM Modi invited Xi (to India) for the next informal summit. Xi confirmed his readiness to visit India this year and that both sides should begin preparations," said foreign secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale.

Modi raised the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan during his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping here and said India expects "concrete action" by Islamabad to create an atmosphere free of terror for the resumption of dialogue.

Modi's comments came ahead of President Xi's meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also here in the Kyrgyz capital to attend the SCO summit.

Khan has twice written to Prime Minister Modi, seeking resumption of dialogue on all issues, including Kashmir.

Responding to Khan's overtures, Prime Minister Modi told his Pakistani counterpart that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

India has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016 by a Pakistan-based terror group, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.

Early this year, tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district.

With agency inputs

MPOST BUREAU

MPOST BUREAU

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