SCO summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Kazakhstan’s Astana to attend crucial two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet today. PM Modi has said that he was looking forward to deepening India’s association with SCO. Apart from India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will also attend the summit of the six-nation, according to report. It has been learned that India and Pakistan will be become full members of the Eurasian grouping in the Astana summit. The Prime Minister has expressed that he wanted to take India’s long-standing relations with the SCO members to another level for mutual betterment and growth of the countries and their people. PM Modi also underlined that India’s association with the SCO which will help the country in economic, connectivity and counter-terrorism cooperation, among other things. India will become a full member of the SCO upon which SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 per cent of the global GDP, the prime minister said. PM Modi said that India had launched the process of full membership in Tashkent meeting of the SCO last year. PM Modi will attend the inauguration of the Astana Expo with the theme of Future Energy on June 9.
According to reports, PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet for bilateral talks at the sidelines of the summit. The Ministry of External Affairs has categorically denied any interaction with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “Indications are that the last leg of the entire process, as per the Memorandum of Obligations, which is the confirmation (of membership) by the heads of the states of the existing members of the SCO, is going to happen in Astana,” G V Srinivas, joint secretary of the Eurasia division in the Ministry of External Affairs, was quoted as saying by PTI. On PM Modi- President Jinping meet, MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that there was a possibility but the schedule was being worked out. While ruling out the possibility of meeting between PM Modi and his counterpart Sharif, Baglay said that there was neither any request from Pakistan’s side nor any such proposal from Indian side.
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India had been an observer country at the SCO since 2005 and had applied for a full membership in 2014, Srinivas said. Notably, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.