MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Possible admission of India, Pakistan and Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an important step in the development of the Eurasian Economic Space, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev told TASS.
In an interview with First Deputy General Director of TASS Mikhail Gusman the Kazakh leader said: "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a very important organization across the Eurasian space ... Now it is a very important step - in Tashkent, we will admit new members: India and Pakistan. After it we are going to consider the terms of admission of Iran ... It is a response to the challenge of the times."
According to Nazarbayev, the possible creation of free trade zones in the Pacific and Trans-Atlantic regions by efforts of the US requires creation of an alternative economic bloc of states in Eurasia.
"If the United States establishes a free trade area in the Pacific and Trans-Atlantic regions, we'll stay in the middle. That is why the third economic community is emerging here, the third association, which is huge and very important," he said.
On June 23, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization marks its 15th anniversary. SCO unites 18 countries.
Currently, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are full-fledged members-states of the SCO. Member states-observers include Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan. Dialogue partners are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, Sri Lanka.
In July 2015, in Ufa, Russia’s republic of Bashkiria, the SCO summit was held which adopted the Strategy of development of the organization until 2025. The SCO participants also started the process of admission of India and Pakistan.
On June 23-24, the Uzbek capital of Tashkent hosts the next SCO summit will be held June 23-24 in Tashkent.