Pakistan seeking membership of SCO regional security group

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Pakistan is seeking full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) a regional security group, the Pakistani Foreign Minister told an international conference in Moscow on Friday.
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan is seeking full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) a regional security group, the Pakistani Foreign Minister told an international conference in Moscow on Friday.

"I hope that one day we will be invited to join this organization," Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.

The SCO regional security group comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Russia took over the presidency of the organization last August. Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.

The SCO is currently holding an international conference in Moscow, to discuss the "situation in Afghanistan and its influence on neighboring states."

Talking about Afghanistan, the minister said it was necessary to start a new page in the country's history as the Afghan population deserves peace, progress, economic recovery and development, which he said he thought was "achievable" with long-term participation by the international community.

He added that Russia and China could play a key role in improving the situation in the impoverished state.

The conference is being attended by foreign ministers and high-level diplomats from SCO member and observer states, as well as Afghanistan, the U.S., and Turkey. The UN Secretary General, and heads from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) are also taking part in the event.

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