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Moscow supports Pakistan’s application for full-fledged membership in SCO

ISLAMABAD, December 15. /TASS/. Moscow supports Pakistan’s application for full-fledged membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexei Dedov said on Monday.

“Over more than a decade of its work, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has established itself as an authoritative organization, becoming a key player in the global and regional politics,” he said at a conference dedicated to Pakistan’s prospects to have a full-fledged membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. “Over the year of Russia’s presidency /in 2014-2015/,we will develop ties with partners within the SCO and create conditions of its further expansion.”

“Russia consistently supports Islamabad’s application to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full-fledged member,” Dedov said. “We hope it will be approved after all SCO internal procedures are over.”

In the year of its presidency, the Russian ambassador stressed, Russia “will focus on launching large-scale multi-lateral economic projects, primarily in the areas of transport, energy, science and technology, peaceful use of space.” “At the same time, attention will be paid to expanding cultural and humanitarian ties. Thus, we plan to promote youth exchanges, tourism,” he said. “Our priorities include the development of the SCO Network University and establishing its division in Russia. We also think it important to encourage parliamentary, civil and trade union cooperation within the organization.”

To fulfill the above tasks, Russia has adopted a plan of its presidency that includes more than 100 joint projects in the political, trade-and-economic, cultural and humanitarian areas.

“I am confident that in close cooperation with the partners we will be able to give a fresh impetus to the process of the SCO’s further development and boosting its role on the international arena in the interests of ensuring global and regional peace and prosperity,” the Russian ambassador underscored.

Currently, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan enjoy the observer status. In September 2014, Pakistan and India officially applied for full-fledged membership in the organization. Iran also seeks such membership. Sri Lanka and Armenia have applied for an observer status. Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey have a status of a dialogue partner.