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BEIJING, March 13. /TASS/. China hopes that India and Pakistan will become members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the immediate future, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said on Monday.
"The procedure is currently underway [for India’s and Pakistan’s accession to the SCO - TASS]. China hopes that India and Pakistan will become SCO members as soon as possible and will contribute to efforts to maintain security and stability in the region and will make their contribution to the region’s development and prosperity," she said.
"As for relations between Pakistan and India, they are China’s important neighbors, and we hope to strengthen dialogue and mutual trust," the diplomat added.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded in 2001 by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. All these countries, except for Uzbekistan, were the members of the Shanghai Five formed in 1997 that became the basis for the SCO. The procedure of India’s and Pakistan’s accession to the organization was launched in 2015.