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International relations

SCO summit to bring together Xi, Putin, Modi: 4 things to know

Shanghai Cooperation Organization looks to bolster global status

The meeting in Samarkand, a city on the ancient Silk Road, will mark the annual summit's first in-person meeting since 2019.   © Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan/Reuters

SHANGHAI -- The two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit kicks off Thursday in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is to meet with Russia's Vladimir Putin, along with his Central Asia counterparts and the leaders of India and Pakistan.

It is Xi's first known overseas trip since the pandemic hit two years ago. His attendance, part of an official trip that also includes a first stop in neighboring Kazakhstan, is widely seen as an effort to boost the China-led bloc's global status as tensions with West reach new heights.

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