Beijing, Apr 23 (PTI) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today called on Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said China regards boosting the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as one of its diplomatic priorities.

Swaraj called on President Xi along with the rest of the seven foreign ministers of the SCO.

“China regards boosting the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as one of its diplomatic priorities,” Xi said during his meeting with SCO foreign ministers as well as with SCO secretary-general, and the director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Executive Committee.

Xi said he believes the upcoming SCO summit in the coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, in June will be a success, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the Qingdao Summit.

Swaraj’s meeting with the Chinese President comes a day after the two countries announced a summit meeting between Xi and Prime Minister Modi at Wuhan this week.

The SCO Foreign Ministers will meet here tomorrow to finalise the agenda for the summit of the eight-member political, economic and security bloc.

Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi yesterday announced that Modi and Xi will meet in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27-28 to improve bilateral relations.

The SCO, headquartered in Beijing, was founded in 2001.

Comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, the SCO aims at military cooperation between the member states and involves intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia and joint work against cyber terrorism.

India and Pakistan were admitted last year into the organisation in which China plays an influential role.

Swaraj, who is here on a four-day visit, earlier met Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, a close associate of Xi.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also attend the SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting here tomorrow. She is also due to have a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart Lt. Gen Wei Fenghe.

Swaraj also met her Kyrgyz and Uzbek counterparts and discussed cooperation in a number of key areas including trade and investments.

India has ruled out any bilateral meeting with Pakistan’s Foreign and Defence Ministers attending the SCO summit.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.