BEIJING (Sputnik) — The upcoming official announcement of New Delhi’ and Islamabad’s full-fledged membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the upcoming summit in Astana will strengthen the organization's international influence and expand its the geopolitical coverage, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai said Monday.
"India and Pakistan will finish the procedure of accession to the SCO and will become SCO official members at the upcoming summit. It will expand the prospects of the SCO development as well as its international influence," Li said at a special briefing dedicated to the SCO summit due to be held on June 8-9.
The Chinese official noted that after the announcement, the SCO will cover 60 percent of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the global population.
"The representation nature of the SCO as the intentional organization with the biggest territory and population will significantly increase," the Chinese assistant foreign minister added.
The SCO is an intergovernmental international organization, established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan. At the summit in Uzbekistan in June 2016, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization.