BEIJING: China said on Monday that it looked forward to early accession of Pakistan and India to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as full members so that they could work with existing members to contribute to security, stability, common development and prosperity of the region.
“The memorandum on the obligations for India and Pakistan to obtain membership of the SCO was signed at the SCO Tashkent summit in 2016. Currently, all sides are going through relevant legal procedures in accordance with the memorandum,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said while responding to a question during her regular press briefing.
According to media reports, the SCO is expected to officially embrace Pakistan and India as full members at the coming summit in June in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
The spokesperson said Pakistan and India were China’s important neighbours.
“China hopes that India and Pakistan can enhance mutual trust and improve relations through more dialogue. This is conducive to not only the two countries themselves but also to regional prosperity and development,” she added.
Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2017