23:01 GMT21 October 2020
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    China is hopeful that the entry of India and Pakistan as full-fledged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will rectify the two nation's bilateral relations, China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — On Monday, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov told Sputnik that India and Pakistan would become full-fledged members of the SCO at the organization’s next summit in Astana in June.

    "We hope that India and Pakistan will comply with the SCO Charter, adhere to the idea of good-neighborliness and improve their bilateral relations, as well as give new impetus to the development of the organization," the ministerial spokeswoman said in response to a question about Beijing’s expectations from the accession of the new members to the SCO.

    India and Pakistan have strained relations due to disagreements over the Kashmir region, which has been disputed between the two nations since the partition of India in 1947. Islamabad and New Delhi have gone through three wars over the region, but the conflict has not been resolved.

    The issue of launching bilateral dialogue has repeatedly been raised ahead of international events where India and Pakistan participate together.

    The SCO was founded in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, all of which are currently its permanent members. During the SCO’s 2016 summit in Uzbekistan, memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization were signed. The SCO’s 2017 summit will be held in Astana on June 8-9.

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    Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China's Foreign Ministry, Pakistan, India
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