The accession of India and Pakistan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in June will improve the six-member grouping’s economic and defense potential, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said today.
Morgulov said this while meeting with the SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The parties thoroughly discussed preparations for the SCO summit scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana on June 8-9,” the statement said. “The two diplomats stressed that granting SCO membership to India and Pakistan will top the summit’s agenda as it is expected to improve the organisation’s economic and defense potential,” Russia’s official Tass News Agency quoted the statement as saying.
“Special attention was paid to the process of embedding the two new members into the SCO’s interaction mechanisms aimed at the development of cooperation,” the statement said.
The membership process of India and Pakistan in the Beijing-based SCO began in 2015. The Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was signed in China’s Shanghai in June 2001 by six founding states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
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Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.
The SCO’s main goals are to strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states and promoting their effective cooperation in areas like politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture. It also aims to make joint efforts to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.