Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

President Xi leaves for Kazakhstan visit, SCO summit

Silk Road hub or tax haven? China's new border trade zone may be less than it seems President Xi leaves for Kazakhstan visit, SCO summit
Debra Rodriguez | 08 June, 2017, 01:59

India is set to become a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) during the two day Summit to be held at Astana, Kazakhstan from tomorrow.

The SCO was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Turkey was approved as one of six "dialogue partners" in 2012; it was established in 2003 with the aim of promoting cooperation between members and maintain regional stability.

Speaking on the possibility of meeting between Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the summit, Baglay said, "Like External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj said, there is no meet scheduled as of now between PM Modi and PM Sharif".

Nazarbayev said the SCO unites about 40 percent of the world population.

"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.

"We participate with many countries, including Pakistan, in the United Nations peacekeeping operations, and terrorism is a fight which is incumbent on all countries", Mr. Baglay said.

India and Pakistan signed the memorandum of obligations on 24 June 2016 at Tashkent, thereby starting the formal process of joining the SCO as full members. Pakistan had applied for the body's membership in 2010. Second, the SCO takes takes decisions through consensus and usually stays away from territorial issues which is why it is unlikely to support the CPEC, which is a more important concern for India. While the rest of the membership will follow the Chinese mandate, India will not be comfortable in aligning its interest with China, especially in matters related to terrorism and other regional issues.

"It is evident ... that Iran's joining would have a positive impact on SCO cooperation in all dimensions -in the spheres of security, economy, as well as in the humanitarian domain", he said.

"They (RATS) do a series of activities, including joint exercises in fighting terrorism, maintaining a data bank of terrorists and undesirable elements etc", Srinivas said.

Srinivas said there could also be a couple of bilateral meetings with the leaders of the SCO member countries.

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