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Russia supports India's application to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization

October 02, 2013, 19:16 UTC+3

Russian, Indian foreign ministers discuss collective future

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MOSCOW, October 2 (Itar-Tass) - Russia supports India's application to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization /SCO/, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with his Indian colleague Salman Khurshid.

"As for broader SCO membership, we believe that the time has come; the SCO leaders have made the decision to draw a package of documents on review of membership applications," he said.

Russia and India are concerned over a possibly worse situation in Afghanistan after 2014 and intend to pool the efforts to ward off the threats coming from that country, Lavrov added. 

“We are in solidarity with our Indian friends that we should continue to negotiate closely our approaches to what is happening in Afghanistan and around the country, particularly with due account of the factor of 2014, as the main forces of the international contingent will be withdrawn from that country by the end of the year 2014,” Lavrov said.

“We are concerned over the prospect that the situation in that country will continue to deteriorate and the prospect that the threats will be spreading more and more actively outside Afghanistan,” the Russian foreign minister added. He noted that Russia and India intend to continue to give assistance to Afghanistan so that the country will become stable and free from terrorism.

Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) will meet in India in November, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said.

After the talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, Khurshid said, “The 12th ministerial meeting will be held on November 10. The ASEM [Asia-Europe] ministers will also gather.”

“Trilateral relations are very important for Russia, India and China. I invite the Russian colleague to visit our country,” the Indian minister said. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Russia in November, he said.

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