13:53 GMT17 February 2020
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    Becoming a full member of SCO would enable Pakistan to “play a more significant and proactive role,” benefiting all member states and the entire region, president Mamnoon Hussain said.

    ISLAMABAD (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — Pakistan, which has repeatedly voiced its wish to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), hopes to become a full member during the organization’s summit in July, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain told Sputnik.

    “Pakistan has been an active Observer in the SCO. All eyes are set on the forthcoming SCO Summit in Ufa [Russia] in July, where important decisions will be taken, including the induction of new full members. We hope that relevant procedures will be completed in time for Pakistan’s inclusion in the organization as full member,” Hussain said.

    The president added that the SCO is an important forum for security and stability, constituting “all the important countries of the region.”

    Hussain also thanked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for his and Russia’s "continued and consistent support for Pakistan’s entry into the SCO as a full member.”

    Becoming a SCO member would enable Pakistan to “play a more significant and proactive role,” benefiting all member states and the entire region, the president said.

    The Pakistani leader also noted that after the completion of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in neighboring Afghanistan, SCO “would assume greater importance and become a significant forum to address regional security and stability issues.”

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded in 2001 currently, is an economic, political and military alliance.

    The organization currently comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Afghanistan have observer status.

    In addition, Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are so-called dialogue partners, seeking to establish mutually beneficial partnerships within the organization.

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    Shanghai Cooperation Organization, interview, Vladimir Putin, Mamnoon Hussain, Pakistan
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