India becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

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Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L), Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi gather for a family photo at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa on July 10.

UFA, RUSSIA-  India was today accepted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a six-member regional grouping including China and Russia.

India, which has had an observer status for the past 10 years, will become a member by next year after completion of procedures.

The Beijing-based SCO currently has China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as members.

“I convey our deep sense of gratitude to the members of SCO for accepting India as a full member,” Mr Modi said after the announcement was made at the Summit. “Our membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a natural extension” of the relationships that India has with member countries “and mirrors the region’s place in India’s future,” he added.

Noting that India’s membership reflects the natural links of history, he said, “It will also promote peace and prosperity in this vast region that has often been called the pivot of human history.”

We will work with SCO to combat terrorism and extremism that is a rising threat to the entire region. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is a future that the Afghan people richly deserve, but it will also advance peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” the Prime Minister said which was attended by leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

India was made an Observer in the SCO in 2005 and it made an application last year for full membership of the grouping whose focus is on connectivity, counter-terrorism cooperation, bolstering cooperation in energy sector, enhancing trade and dealing with drug trafficking.

Along with India, the process to include Pakistan as a member was also initiated today.

Mr Modi, who attended the SCO Summit soon after his bilateral meeting with Sharif, congratulated Pakistan for joining the SCO.

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