India and Pakistan join the SCO


RIA Novosti

In Astana started regular two-day summit of heads of member States of the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO). The main outcome of the summit should be the entry of India and Pakistan. This will make SCO one of the largest organizations in terms of population of countries, its member – the Shanghai cooperation organization will bring together more than 3 billion people, less than half of the population.

The summit’s main events will be held on Friday, on Thursday began bilateral negotiations of heads of state.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters that the leaders will discuss the topics of Organization development, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the middle East and Afghanistan, as well as the application of Iran for accession to the SCO. In addition, the summit will be officially issued full-fledged membership of India and Pakistan.

In this regard, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev called this a historic summit.

“We are actively cooperating in international regional forums such as UN, CICA (conference on interaction and confidence building measures in Asia ed.), SCO. A striking example of this teamwork is our cooperation in the SCO. Tomorrow we will take part in the historic meeting of the organization, which will expand due to the accession of India and Pakistan”, — said Nazarbayev during the talks with the leader of China XI Jinping.

Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Igor Morgulov said that the scale of this event is yet to be determined, but “it is already clear that the accession of these countries will open up additional opportunities to give powerful impetus for the development of the SCO format, taking it to a qualitatively new positions in regional and global Affairs.”

“Sure that adaptation to work in the new structure will be though and difficult but successful – because in the process of joining new Delhi and Islamabad have confirmed the willingness to follow the rules and procedures of the SCO, the same one the “Shanghai spirit,” Morgulov said in an interview to the Chinese Agency “Xinhua”.

Just following the meeting 11 documents will be signed. Among them is the Astana Declaration, the Convention on combating extremism and a joint statement of leaders on combating international terrorism.

The SCO is an international organization founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In June 2016 at the summit in Uzbekistan signed a Memorandum on the membership of India and Pakistan. Countries-observers in the SCO at the moment are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, the partner countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.