Samarkand: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with leaders of Russia, Uzbekistan and Iran on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

The Prime Minister reached Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Thursday to attend the summit.

PM Modi will attend the SCO summit on Friday which will be followed by a restricted meeting of SCO leaders.

The Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This will be his first in-person meeting after the COVID pandemic and the Ukraine conflict. He will also have bilateral meetings with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

PM Modi is among 15 global leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will attend the summit in Samarkand.

Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO-2022 and India will assume the rotational annual presidency of the SCO at the end of the Samarkand Summit.

The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six "Dialogue Partners" (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).

The Shanghai Five, formed in 1996, became the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. With India and Pakistan entering the grouping in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organisations, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world's population.