India is ready to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and appreciates Moscow’s support on this issue, Indian Ambassador Pundi Srinivasan Raghavan told RIA Novosti in a recent interview.
“For ten years already, India has been was an observer at the SCO, and during this time has made significant contributions to the organization. We appreciate that Moscow supports our determination to become a member... We are ready to become a full member of the SCO, whenever this opportunity comes. I can only say that Russia has always supported our desire to become a member of the SCO, and did everything possible to make this happen,” said the ambassador.
SCO member states are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The countries Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have observer status. In September 2014, Pakistan and India formally applied for membership in the SCO, while Iran also wishes to gain full membership status in the Organization. Sri Lanka and Armenia have applied for observer status. Belarus, Sri Lanka, and Turkey enjoy the “dialogue partner” status at the SCO. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the question of accession to SCO by India and Pakistan would be one of the priorities during this organization’s summit in Ufa this coming July.
First published in Russian by RIA Novosti.
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