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    Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry (R) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyan Jaishankar before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, March 3, 2015

    China Praises Granting SCO Membership to India, Pakistan

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    2015 BRICS, SCO Summits in Russia's Ufa (73)

    China's deputy foreign minister noted that more and more countries were showing willingness to strengthen their cooperation with the SCO, which is a sign of the organization’s growing influence internationally.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) – The accession of India and Pakistan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as full-fledged members will help improve their bilateral ties, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Chen Gopin said Monday.

    SCO member states include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan currently have observer status.

    In early June, Pakistan's ambassador to Russia told Sputnik that the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers had decided to grant India and Pakistan the status of full members of the bloc, which is to be confirmed at the SCO summit in July.

    "It is understood that there are disputes that the countries [India and Pakistan] have. There are historical reasons behind it. However, it is not an obstacle for developing friendly ties between them," Chen said at a briefing.

    He pointed out that the accession of both countries to the SCO as full members would also improve the organization itself.

    Chen noted that more and more countries were showing willingness to strengthen their cooperation with the SCO, which is a sign of the organization’s growing influence internationally.

    Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense, with one of the main divisive issues between New Delhi and Islamabad being the long-contested state of Jammu and Kashmir, to which both countries have claims.

    Russia's Republic of Bashkortostan, located near the border with Kazakhstan, will host simultaneously both the SCO and BRICS summits on July 8-10.

    2015 BRICS, SCO Summits in Russia's Ufa (73)


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