14:31 GMT31 October 2020
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    India and Pakistan may soon change their status from 'observer' to 'member' in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

    Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
    © AP Photo / Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has finalized its normative base in order to accept new members such as India and Pakistan into the organization, SCO Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev told RIA Novosti in an interview Tuesday.

    “Work on forming the normative base of the SCO is complete and there are no longer any legal obstacles in this issue any more,” Mezentsev said.

    He said that during the Dushanbe Summit in 2014, all of the documents needed in order to offer other countries membership in the SCO were signed.

    “I hope that the decision on India and Pakistan will be made, as this will multiply the organization’s potential and will predetermine the SCO’s influence of growth in the region and a more active participation in issues of the regional and international agenda,” he added.

    Mezentsev noted that the issue of expanding the organization presupposes not only the overview of submissions but also the process of determining whether applicant countries meet the SCO criteria.

    The SCO is an international and intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai in 2001 and includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Observers in the organization include Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

    Sri Lanka and Armenia have applied for observer status.

    The organization aims to promote cooperation between its members in politics, trade, security, science, energy, and culture. The SCO's main goals include promoting security and stability in the region.

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    Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Dmitry Mezentsev, India, Pakistan
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