India to become SCO member in Astana Summit

New Delhi [India], June 07 : India is set to become a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) during the two day Summit to be held at Astana, Kazakhstan from tomorrow.

The summit will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Briefing media in Delhi this evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, India will be benefited in trade and economic activity after it becomes a full member.

He said that trade, connectivity, energy, banking and fight against terrorism are the main areas of cooperation.

Joint Secretary, Eurasia, G. V. Srinivas said, India is joining SCO with an open mind for peace and stability in the region. Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness, promoting cooperation in politics, trade, economy, research, technology and culture and other areas are the main goals of SCO.

India and Pakistan signed the memorandum of obligations on 24 June 2016 at Tashkent, thereby starting the formal process of joining the SCO as full members.

Srinivasan said at the briefing, that India has signed a memorandum which is essentially a process through which an aspirant country has to go through before becoming a member of the group.

"So that process has been completed from our side - essentially entailing to a couple of agreements as per the calendar drawn by the memorandum of obligations - something which we have relayed to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation secretariat in Beijing.

They have also confirmed that India has completed this process," he said "The indications are that the last leg of the entire membership process that is the confirmation by the heads of state of existing members of the SCO, is going to happen in Astana," he added.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation.

On July 10, 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members..

Source: ANI