New Delhi: Amid speculations over India’s decision to hold the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on July 4 in a virtual format, the government on Friday said that it was never announced that the meeting would be held in person.
“As everyone is aware that in the 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,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.
The statement has come just days after the ministry announced that it will host the annual SCO summit in virtual format on July 4.
Last year in September, the in-person SCO summit was held 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.
India had assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO at the Samarkand summit.
The ministry has said that all the SCO member states — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — have been invited to attend the virtual summit.
Meanwhile, India will host the G20 summit in September in New Delhi, where it plans to invite Presidents Xi and Putin, apart from other leaders of the grouping.