China hosts Russia, Iran for summit as U.S. tensions rise

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks to reporters in Tehran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks to reporters in Tehran

"Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship".

Ties between the two neighbours had nosedived following last year's military standoff at Doklam and also due to several other issues, including China blocking a move to sanction Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar at the UN Security council and Beijing's opposition to New Delhi's bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Under an MoU between China's ministry of water resources and India's ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, China has agreed to share flood season data with India from May 15 to October 15 every year. Indian pharmaceuticals are another potential item of export to China, he said.

President Mamnoon congratulated President Xi Jinping on his re-election as President of People's Republic of China and General Secretary of Communist Party of China (CPC).

"Met this year's SCO host, President Xi Jinping this evening", Modi tweeted on Saturday.

While Xi described Wuhan as a new starting point, Modi called the summit a milestone in the relationship.

Gokhale said the meeting had a "very positive forward looking momentum" which was underpinned by spirit of the Wuhan summit. "India will benefit from SCO counterterrorism mechanism and I think Pakistan will make some compromise, for not just India and Afghanistan, but for the whole region", he said.

In this context, Xi also referred to growing popularity of Indian films in China and particularly mentioned about films Dangal and Bahubali.

China is willing to work with India to take the Wuhan meeting as a "new starting point" to continuously enhance political mutual trust and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, to push forward China-India relations in a better, faster and steadier manner, Mr. Xi was quoted as saying by China's Xinhua news agency. Modi and Xi are again expected to meet next month during the BRICS Summit in South Africa.

The two leaders, meeting for a second time in six weeks, also announced a meeting of their foreign ministers later this year to enhance people to people exchanges, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters after the talks.

The agreement to this effect was made in a bilateral meeting between President Mamnoon Hussain and his counterpart from Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.

Terrorism is the most severe security challenge the SCO faces.

President Xi Jinping appreciated Pakistan for its proactive participation in SCO since becoming a member.

Though not officially on the agenda, analysts say that one key topic of discussion this year may focus on whether Iran will be allowed to ascend from its position as an SCO observer to become a full member state - a development it has sought since 2008 but has been unable to achieve while subject to United Nations sanctions.

Besides China and Russian Federation, the other countries are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - as well as the newest members India and Pakistan.

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