4 May 2023

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Arrives In Goa To Take Part In SCO Meet But No Bilateral Meetings Expected

Dabolim (Goa): Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived in Goa on Thursday to participate in a conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) - a key regional summit. He is the first Pakistani foreign minister to visit India since 2011.  He landed at Goa's Dabolim to attend SCO foreign ministers' meeting.

This is the first high-level visit from Pakistan after its Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz visited India in December 2016. Last time any Pakistani leader visited India was in 2014, when former PM Nawaz Sharif arrived to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony.

No bilateral meetings are expected to take place between Bhutto Zardari and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. 

Apart from the fact that a Pakistani foreign minister has not visited India in a long time, this visit is pretty much inconsequential in the larger bilateral context. The visit, as such, does not represent any thaw in the relationship.

India's MEA S Jaishankar and China’s counterpart will meet for a bilateral meeting and this will be second one in two months after G20 foreign ministers meeting in March.

Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will meet Jaishankar. It is expected they will review the overall bilateral ties.

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