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India not to become full SCO member until next year — Foreign Ministry

June 22, 19:50 UTC+3 NEW DELHI
India intends to join the regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism
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NEW DELHI, June 22. /TASS/. India is unlikely to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the Organization’s summit in Tashkent on June 23-24. Indian Deputy Foreign Minister Sujata Mehta told a briefing in New Delhi on Wednesday that it will take about a year to complete all the necessary procedures.

"At the summit in Tashkent the process of India’s accession to SCO will begin with the signing of a commitment memorandum," she said. "Then, in accordance with the schedule set for us, we should join the agreements earlier signed within the SCO framework in order to become a full member of the association. According to her, "It will take about a year to sign more than 30 documents."

"We have to go through all the procedures as it has been agreed with the other SCO member countries," Mehta said. "As for the pace of India’s admission to SCO, which depends on the approaches to this issue of Russia, China and four Central Asian countries, I would say that India adheres to a fairly flexible multilateralism principle".

The deputy foreign minister also said that "India is quite happy to be involved in several processes and work with other SCO members in a number of spheres". She said, in particular, that "the Tashkent summit participants will hold talks on the establishment of the SCO Energy Club." In addition, India intends to "join the regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism."

India got the SCO observer status in 2005. In 2010, the country announced the intention to become a full member of the Organization. After the moratorium on the admission of new members to the Organization was lifted, the process of admission of India and Pakistan to SCO full membership was launched at the SCO summit in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent regional international association, the establishment of which was announced on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai. The organization brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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