ISLAMABAD, July 4 (RIA Novosti, Yevgeny Pakhomov) - Pakistan's Prime Minister said Monday that observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would give Pakistan new opportunities to develop relations with the organization's members. Shaukat Aziz was traveling to the Kazakh capital, Astana, which will host the upcoming SCO summit. Pakistani news agencies said Aziz was going to Astana to secure observer status in the organization. "In Astana, Pakistan intends to put forward a series of proposals designed to encourage regional cooperation," said Aziz. "Pakistan has maintained friendly relations with the SCO countries and hopes the Shanghai forum will promote them further," he said.
Aziz is expected to hold personal meetings with SCO leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
India and Iran are also seeking observer status in the SCO, which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Mongolia is currently the only observer in the SCO.