Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel from July 6 to 13 to five Central Asian countries and Russia where he will attend the summits of BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in a bid to give an impetus to strategic, economic and energy ties.
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The SCO Summit, scheduled to be held in Ufa, may see India getting the membership of the six-nation group of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. As of now, India has only an observer status in SCO. The summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will see discussions on enhancing cooperation in the economic area. With the BRICS Development Bank already set up, the summit could also look at the possibility of starting credit facility in local currency. The first head of the bank is noted Indian banker K V Kamath.
The PM’s visit will start with Uzbekistan from where he will go to Kazakhstan on July 7. He will then travel to Russia on July 8, before visiting Turkmenistan on July 10, Kyrgyzstan on July 11 and Tajikistan on July 12.
Modi will be the first Indian PM to visit the five Central Asian nations in one trip. The focus during the trip will be on enhancing trade, cooperation in energy and security, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry Navtej Sarna told reporters here.