Rashid Alimov will be appointed new SCO Secretary-General

08/07/2015 15:39
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, July 8, 2015, Asia-Plus -- India and Pakistan will have to wait till next year to get full membership of the security and economic grouping the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a top Russian official said on July 7, ahead of the six-nation bloc's leaders' summit in Ufa this week.

“India and Pakistan are not joining the SCO tomorrow. The process of engaging them is beginning,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists.

He said their admission demands the coordination of a working memorandum and the two countries also need to join 28 key documents of the group.

“After that, as we hope, the membership of these two countries in the SCO will be finalized and we will be able to talk about our Group of Eight participants that will be apparently expanded and joined by Iran,” Ushakov said.  He said the decision on Iran’s bid will be taken after the UN sanctions against the country are lifted.

"The membership of India and Pakistan in the SCO will be finalized by the next meeting of the leaders in 2016 in India," Mr. Ushakov added.

The process of the two countries' accession to the SCO kicks off this week at the summit in Ufa, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

A meeting of the SCO foreign ministers recently had recommended inclusion of India and Pakistan in the Organization.

To pave the way for admission of India and Pakistan, SCO members had approved two key documents regarding the procedure for granting membership and the obligations of states applying for it in the leaders' summit in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, in September.

A total of 14 decisions will be adopted at the SCO summit in Ufa, and 11 of them will be signed, the Kremlin aide said, noting that Tajikistan’s representative Rashid Alimov will be appointed the new Secretary General of the Organization.

The sides also plan to approve a strategy of the SCO development up to 2025 and sign a declaration on consolidated approaches of the member-states to the key international issues.

Founded by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on June 15, 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization.  Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.

The Organization currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are five observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

The Organization’s six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world's population.  With observer states included, its affiliates account for about half of the world's population.

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