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SCO Decides to Include India as Full-Time Member
Jul 11, 2015

The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held on July 9-10. The summit in Ufa, capital of Russia's Bashkortostan region, came a day after a summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies. 

In this summit Beijing-based Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) took the decision to induct India as a full member of the strategically-important bloc. India, which has had an observer status for the last 10 years, will technically become a member by next year, after the completion of requisite formalities.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the annual Summit by announcing the acceptance of India and Pakistan as members.

  • The SCO currently has China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as members. 

  • Alongside India, the process to include Pakistan as a member was also initiated here on Friday.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded with an offer to work with the grouping to enhance connectivity, combat terror and create an environment for boosting trade by easing barriers.

  • Process to include Pakistan as a member was also initiated.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the annual summit by announcing the acceptance of India and Pakistan as members.

  • Membership in the group potentially offers India greater access to the energy resources of Central Asia. 

  • The membership also advances the shared vision to reconnect and integrate Eurasia’s different region.

  • India was made an observer in the SCO in 2005 and it made an application last year for full membership of the group.

  • India’s focus is on connectivity, counter-terrorism cooperation, bolstering cooperation in energy sector, enhancing trade and dealing with drug trafficking.

The inclusion of India and Pakistan into the SCO has also triggered some degree of concerns among members, primarily on the grounds that any confrontation between the two nuclear-armed neighbours at some point could pose a roadblock for the group to reach any agreement over major issues. 

The SCO has not accepted any new members since its initial formation in 2001. Nonetheless, the organization has managed to expand rapidly by granting states observer and dialogue partner status on the way to a full membership. Currently, five nations–Afghanistan, Mongolia, Iran, India, and Pakistan  have observer status.

SCO members had agreed to add Belarus to the list of observer states and Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, and Nepal are joining the SCO family as dialogue partners.

 


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