Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu will chair the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) council of heads of government summit on November 30, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan expected not to join the virtual meeting.
The council of heads of government is the second highest body of SCO and is responsible for handling the grouping’s trade and economic agenda and approving its annual budget. This is the first time India is hosting a meeting of the body since it was admitted to the eight-member grouping in 2017.
Modi, Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping had joined the virtual SCO Summit that was chaired by Russia earlier this month.
People familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity that India has usually been represented at meetings of the council of heads of government at the level of the external affairs minister, while defence minister Rajnath Singh had attended last year’s meeting in Uzbekistan.
“Since India is hosting the meeting this year, the vice president will chair it,” said one of the people cited above.