Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he looks forward to deepening India’s association with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a day ahead of his visit to Kazakhstan to attend the summit of the six-nation. During the summit in Astana, India and Pakistan will be become full members of the Eurasian grouping comprising, at present, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Modi, who will be undertaking a two-day visit to Astana, said India has long-standing relations with the SCO members and he looked forward to progressing them further through the grouping for “mutual betterment and growth of our countries and our people.” “I look forward to deepening India’s association with the SCO which will help us in economic, connectivity and counter-terrorism cooperation, among other things,” he said in his pre-departure statement.
At this meeting, on completion of the process, India will become a full member of the SCO upon which SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 per cent of the global GDP, the prime minister said. “We launched the process of full membership in Tashkent meeting of the SCO last year,” he noted.
“Together, we will harvest new opportunities for beneficial engagement and redouble efforts to address common challenges that may come in the way of realizing our full potential,” he added. On the evening of June 9, he will also attend the inauguration of the Astana Expo with the theme of “Future Energy”.