Beijing: China on Tuesday hoped the admission of India and Pakistan into the Beijing-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) security grouping will contribute to security and stability in the region.
Currently, all sides are going through relevant legal procedures in accordance with the Memorandum of Obligations signed at last year’s SCO summit at Tashkent to admit India and Pakistan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters here.
She was responding to a question about reports that both the countries may be admitted to the six-member bloc at this year’s summit in June and the impact of the SCO membership on their relations. “China looks forward to the early accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO as full members, so that they will work with the existent members to contribute to security, stability, common development and common prosperity of the region,” Hua said.
“Both India and Pakistan are China’s important neighbours and important countries in South Asia. China hopes that India and Pakistan can enhance mutual trust and improve relations through more dialogues. This is conducive to not only the two countries themselves, but also to regional prosperity and development,” she added.
The SCO is expected to officially embrace India and Pakistan as full members at its upcoming summit in the capital of Kazakhstan, secretary general of the organisation Rashid Alimov was quoted as saying in the media here on 10 March. The SCO Summit will be held on 8-9 June in Astana, when welcoming its seventh and eighth member nations would be a key item on the agenda, Alimov announced in the account of SCO in Sina Weibo, which is similar to Twitter in China.
Beijing-headquartered SCO, which focuses mostly on security-related issues such as counter-terrorism cooperation in Central Asia, is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as full members. Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have “observer” status.
Its 2015 summit in Ufa in Russia had formally adopted a resolution which started the procedures to admit India and Pakistan into the security grouping. Both the countries signed a Memorandum of Obligations to join the organisation in last year’s summit in Tashkent. With India and Pakistan’s membership, the SCO will include countries encompassing over 40% of the world’s population.