The Indian External Affairs Ministry (EAM) confirmed Thursday it will extend an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The news—which had been reported a few days ago by Indian media—was confirmed by EAM spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Speaking to media, he said all eight SCO members states will be invited in accordance with the established procedure.
India will be hosting the council of heads of government meeting in the second half of this year. The development is significant considering the tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi which reached an all-time high last year after India scrapped Article 370 that recognised occupied Kashmir as a special territory.
“As per the established practice and procedure within the SCO, all eight members of the SCO, as well as four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited to attend the meeting,” he said.
“The meeting is held annually at the prime minister’s level and it discusses the SCO’s program and multilateral economic and trade co-operation,” he added.
Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the founding members of the SCO. The association has become a significant group of countries with emerging economies. India will host the event during the second half of 2020.
India and Pakistan both became members of the organisation in 2017. This is the first time New Delhi will host the event.