Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping skipped the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) pre-summit group events on Thursday, including the formal dinner. PM Modi was among the last leaders to arrive at Samarkand, ruling out his participation in the pre-summit events.
Neither of the two world leaders were seen in the photograph of leaders after the informal dinner, released late night on Thursday.
In fact, despite being at Samarkand, Xi Jingping was not seen in any of the videos shared by the hosts as the heads of council went on a tour of the Eternal city. The Eternal city is part of the New Tourist Complex - the venue of the SCO summit.
In the videos, Russian President Vladimir Putin can be seen walking right in front along with the host, Uzbekistan President Shavket Mirziyoyev.
The leaders also participated in a tree planting event near the Congress Centre in the venue complex. Interestingly, President Xi Jinping planted the tree separately with the Uzbekistan President in the day time before the group event in the evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be participating in the SCO summit on Friday starting with the reception for leaders and a group photo and followed by a restricted format meeting of the leaders.
The Prime Minister will hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi post lunch. The structured bilateral meeting plan of the Prime Minister includes only these three countries.