NEW DELHI: India will become the permanent member of Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) during the organisation’s two-day summit meeting beginning in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent today.
For the membership, India will sign a memorandum of obligation.
Talking to media, Uzbekistan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anvar Nasirov said Uzbekistan, within the framework of its presidency at the SCO, has paid great attention to India's admission to the organisation.
He said, at a meeting in Ufa last year, heads of member states took the decision to include India as a full member. Nasirov said the process will be completed in the forthcoming meeting.
At present Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are permanent members of SCO.
The organisation aims at strengthening friendly relations amongst member states and maintaining peace, stability and security in the region. It promotes co-operation in combating terrorism and the menace of narcotic substances.
According to reports, on so many occasions, the organisation has seen friction and distrust among the member states, but India's inclusion in the group is likely to lift its influence in the international arena.
India’s inclusion in the group will expand the territory of the organization and it will nearly account for 80 percent of the Eurasian continent and will have a population of 2.7 billion, more than one third of world’s population.
While expansion may hinder the organisation’s ability to act decisively, it will give SCO the opportunity to transform into a more comprehensive institution capable of converting and integrating a broad swath of Asia.
The expansion of SCO would infuse fresh vigour into the group’s future development and boost its influence and appeal in the international arena. Addition of India will increase block’s political and economic potential and improve its ability to counter pressing regional challenges.
Meanwhile, smaller SCO members concerned of being squeezed by two dominant partners in the group, the interest of two superpowers, see the inclusion of India as an opportunity to diversify and build new partnerships.