Last Updated: June 02, 2023, 16:31 IST
Days after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet will be held virtually, the ministry clarified that the meeting was never announced to be held in physical format.
The MEA said several international events are held virtually nowadays and therefore the government has decided to make it virtual.
“As everyone is aware that in past some years, several events have taken place virtually so taking all factors into account, we decided that the Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in a virtual format on the 4th of July,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Friday.
Delhi | As everyone is aware that in past some years, several events have taken place virtually so taking all factors into account, we decided that the Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in a virtual format on the 4th of July. Preparations for this are… pic.twitter.com/G8xFlXXJQw— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2023
The statement comes after the MEA on Tuesday announced it will host the annual SCO summit in the virtual format on July 4. However, the ministry had not provided any reasons for holding the summit in the virtual mode.
Last year, the in-person SCO summit took place in the Uzbek city of Samarkand that was attended by all top leaders of the grouping including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
In September, India will host the G20 summit for which it is going to invite Xi and Putin besides other leaders of the bloc. India assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO at the Samarkand Summit on September 16 last year.
The MEA said all the SCO member states — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — have been invited to attend the summit.
India hosted the foreign ministers of the SCO at a two-day conclave in Goa earlier this month. The SCO is an influential economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.