India, Pak to become full SCO members: China

India, Pak to become full SCO members: China

India and Pakistan’s admission as full members to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be formalised at a political and security grouping’s summit in Kazakhstan next week, China announced on Thursday, while hoping that they would “strictly follow” its charter.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying hoped that the admission of India and Pakistan will help improve bilateral relations.

“Hope India and Pakistan strictly follow the charter of the SCO and the idea of good neighbourliness, uphold the SCO spirit, improve their relations and inject new impetus to the development of the SCO,” Hua told a media briefing here.

She confirmed that the lengthy process of their admission into the group, which took years until China gave its nod, was over and the two countries would become full members at the grouping’s summit to be held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on June 8-9.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are expected to be present at the summit.

Speculation is also rife that Modi and Sharif may also meet on the sidelines of the summit. “The member states of the SCO are accelerating the MOU procedures with the two countries and everything is going very well,” Hua said.

The first-ever expansion of the group comes at a time Indo-Pak tensions are high and relations between Beijing and New Delhi were beset with strains over the $50-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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