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Xi Jinping accepts PM Narendra Modi's invitation to visit India

Xi Jinping accepts PM Narendra Modi's invitation to visit India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an informal summit in India later this year on the lines of the informal parleys that had in Wuhan in China last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told President Xi Jinping that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free from terror and take concrete action to end the scourge but does not see Islamabad doing it at this stage.

This was decided at a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting here.

"The Prime Minister specifically conveyed to President Jinping and he agreed that both sides need to raise our expectations from the relationship. The Prime Minister welcomed him to India for the next informal summit and President Xi Jinping confirmed his readiness to visit India this year," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said at a press briefing here.

However, he said the date and venue of the summit is yet to be decided while media reports in India had earlier said it would be in Modi's home state Gujarat.

In April last year, Modi and Xi had met in Wuhan for an informal summit in order to deepen bilateral cooperation. That meeting came following the 73-day standoff in Bhutan's Doklam plateau in 2017, which strained bilateral ties between the two countries.

Last month, India and China said they are in touch for the second informal summit between Modi and Xi scheduled to be held in India later this year.

"The two sides are in touch, through diplomatic channels, to finalise the date and venue for the meeting. Details about the visit will be announced in due course after the details are finalized," an MEA statement had said.

Speaking at Wuhan, Modi had expressed hope that "such informal summit" would "become a tradition between the two countries."

"I'll be happy if, in 2019, we can have such an informal summit in India," he had said.

Speaking on the boundary issue, Gokhale said that the two leaders have directed their special representatives to expedite the discussions for achieving a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.

Gokhale said that both India and China will mark 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations next year and 70 programmes will be held in either country to mark the event.

"The Prime Minister proposed that there is a need to mark the occasion in a manner that reflects this new relationship to mark the 70th anniversary. He also said that India and China should hold 70 important events, that is 35 each in India and China. The two leaders have tasked their respective foreign ministers to discuss this matter at the second meeting of the high-level mechanism," he said.

The Foreign Secretary said that discussions were held on trade, wherein Modi had reiterated that it was important for India to tackle the trade deficit with China.

"There was progress in terms of the regulatory procedure that has been simplified by the Chinese side. The Prime Minister took note of this and appreciated the simplification of the regulatory processes including basmati rice, certain agricultural products, pharmaceuticals and sugar," Gokhale said.

"Both leaders said that approach should be constructive and should be driven by the larger context," he said.

Modi is on a two-day visit to Kyrgyzstan for attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. This is his first visit to a multilateral forum after reelection.

During the meeting, Modi and Xi had discussed strengthening bilateral relations in key areas.

"Deepening friendship with China. PM @narendramodi's first meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit is with President Xi Jinping. Both leaders are discussing ways to further strengthen bilateral relations," PMO tweeted on the delegation-level talks between the two sides.

"Your birthday falls on June 15. On behalf of the people of India, I give my best wishes to you. After election results, I received your message and you congratulated me again. I am obliged. Together, we can move forward and work with each other in various areas in the coming days," Modi said in his opening remarks.

Later, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, "Building on the momentum of high-level exchanges, PM @narendramodi had a warm meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Leaders discussed all aspects of enriching our bilateral relations & recognised the positive role of strategic communication in deepening our partnership."

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