‘Hope SCO becomes platform to resolve international issues’

Ufa (Russia), July 11 (IANS) Moscow hopes the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would become a platform to resolve international issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin said here.

“We hope that the SCO platform will become where we are able to gather together and look for compromises and solutions for disputed issues,” Putin said during a press conference after the concluded BRICS and SCO summits on Friday, Xinhua reported.

He mentioned that the “full-fledged inclusion of India and Pakistan” could help solve the dispute between the two countries.

A resolution was passed on Friday to start the procedures of granting India and Pakistan full SCO membership at the 15th bloc summit held in the south-western Russian city of Ufa.

Presently, both India and Pakistan are observers. Pakistan applied for a full membership in 2006 and India in 2014.

The expansion of the SCO “opens a new level in the bloc’s development”, Putin said, speaking highly of the strong momentum of the SCO in economic and financial cooperation.

Founded in 2001, the SCO now has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its full members, with Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observers, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey as dialogue partners.

As Russia holds the rotating chairs of both the SCO and the BRICS, the summits of the two blocs were held together between July 8-10.

“We should start drafting an SCO convention on fighting extremism,” Putin stressed, as he pointed out that the activities of the Islamic State spreading into Afghanistan have added to the security threats of the SCO countries.

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