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Putin and Xi to Meet at Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Kazakhstan

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are gearing up to meet for the second time in as many months, as they head to Kazakhstan for a high-profile session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This international group, founded to counter Western alliances, will bring together leaders from various countries to discuss security concerns and regional cooperation.

The SCO, established in 2001 by China and Russia, includes members such as Iran, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with observer states and dialogue partners like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. This year’s summit in the Kazakh capital of Astana will see the attendance of leaders from various member states, including Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and recently Belarus.

The meeting holds significance for Putin, who aims to showcase that Russia is not isolated amid Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. It also presents an opportunity for Putin and Xi to reaffirm their “strategic partnership” and demonstrate unity amid tensions with the West.

The SCO summit will focus on countering terrorism and enhancing regional cooperation, although political differences among member states, such as India and Pakistan’s dispute over Kashmir, may pose challenges to reaching collective agreements. Additionally, discussions on Ukraine, a major issue concerning all involved parties, could take place on the sidelines of the summit.

Overall, the meeting presents a platform for non-Western countries to come together, interact, and address common challenges, while also showcasing the growing influence of blocs like the SCO in shaping global politics. As leaders converge in Astana, the world watches closely for developments and potential outcomes of this significant gathering.

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