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India, Pakistan to become permanent members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

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08 July 2015

India and arch rival Pakistan will soon be permanent members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Russian President Vladimir Putin told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Putin said the process of India's accession into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has begun.

"We are beginning the process of full-fledged inclusion of India into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation," Putin, who is hosting the BRICS and SCO summits in the Russian city of Ufa, told Modi.

Putin said it was "a very important event", as Modi expressed his thanks.

"Under your (Putin's) leadership in BRICS, India has become a member of SCO. I am very grateful," the Indian prime minister said.

India and Pakistan, both observers of the China-led bloc, are to be made permanent members of the SCO.

Modi arrived in Russia today after visiting two Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, on a three-day trip during which he will attend the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits.

He will first attend the summit of five-nation BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - which is expected to be dominated by discussions on enhancing cooperation in the economic area.

With the BRICS Development Bank already set up, the summit could also look at the possibility of starting trade and credit facility in local currency.

The first head of the bank is noted Indian banker KV Kamath.

Besides Modi and Xi, the BRICS Summit is being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and South African President Jacob Zuma.

Modi, who arrived earlier in the day from Kazakhstan, thanked Putin for the warm welcome and also for observance of the International Day of Yoga in Russian cities on 21 June.

The SCO is a permanent regional association founded in Shanghai, China, on 15 June 2001. Its priority tasks include joint counter-action to terrorism and extremism, cooperation in education as well as in the energy, oil and gas, transport, communication and other spheres.

The SCO comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are partners for dialogue.





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