"Yes, India and Pakistan," Alimov said on the sidelines of a conference on bilateral Russia-China ties, predicting "a completely new quality of the organization since the six will gradually grow into eight."
After India and Pakistan’s accession to the SCO, the member states’ population will make up 43-44 percent of the world population and their GDP will total $33 trillion, Alimov stressed, adding that the organization would become trans-regional.
The agenda of the upcoming summit is broad, however, the final details will be ironed out during the SCO national coordinators’ meeting on June 5-7, Alimov noted.
Presently, the SCO comprises as permanent member states Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and the documents on India and Pakistan’s accession to the SCO were signed during the organization’s Tashkent summit in June 2016. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia hold observer status, while Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka have the status of dialogue partners in the SCO.
The SCO summit is expected to be held in Astana on June 8-9.
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