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India, Pakistan membership in SCO will be finalized in 2016 — Kremlin

July 07, 2015, 9:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The process of the two countries’ accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation kicks off this week at the summit in Ufa
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Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov

© TASS/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. The membership of India and Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be finalized by the next meeting of the leaders in 2016 in India, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said in an interview broadcast by the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Tuesday.

The process of the two countries’ accession to the political, military and economic alliance, which consists of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, kicks off this week at the summit in Ufa, in Russia's Volga republic of Bashkiria.

"India and Pakistan are not joining the SCO tomorrow. The process of engaging them is beginning," Ushakov said, adding that this demands the coordination of a working memorandum. The two countries also need to join 28 key documents of the group.

"After that, as we hope, the membership of these two countries in the SCO will be finalized and we will be able to talk about our Group of Eight participants," the Kremlin aide said.

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