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Narendra Modi met Nawaz Sharif at SCO Summit in Astana; Exchanged Greetings

June 9, 2017

modiPakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have met at a summit in Kazakhstan.

According to reports, Sharif and Modi exchanged greetings and shook hands at the opening of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Astana on Thursday.

The summit formally begins on Friday.

The meeting between the leaders of the two arch rivals took place despite simmering tensions between the two nuclear powers.

Sharif and Modi had met 17 months ago, on the sidelines of the Paris climate summit. Shortly after that meeting, Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan in December 2015.

Relations between Pakistan and India quickly deteriorated after Modi’s visit, when suspected Pakistan-based militants attacked an Indian airbase in Pathankot in January 2016, killing six Indian soldiers.

In response, New Delhi accused Islamabad of continuing to “sponsor terrorism” — a charge Pakistan denies — and suspended ongoing peace talks.

There have also been renewed tensions in the disputed Kashmir territory, which is split between the two neighbors.

Militants killed 19 Indian soldiers in a raid on a military camp in Kashmir in September 2016.

Modi meets China’s Xi

Modi also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summit.

The leaders met for the first time in nearly eight months, and after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing last month, in which 29 world leaders took part.

The SCO, also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a political, economic, and military union founded in Shanghai in 1996 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India and Pakistan are to join SCO during the landmark Astana summit.

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