ASTANA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) carries historic significance as India and Pakistan become full members of the bloc, SCO leaders said Friday.
Granting India and Pakistan membership at the SCO summit will boost the organization's development and potential, according to a joint press communique released after the summit in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.
Founded in 2001, the SCO now has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan as its full members, with Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia as observers, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey as dialogue partners.
The heads of state support the SCO to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with its observers and dialogue partners, the communique said.
The leaders believe that the SCO should actively participate in establishing a fairer and multipolar world, promote democratization of international relations, and build an efficient global and regional security and cooperation structure as well as a community of shared destiny for mankind, the communique said.
The member states reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States and pledged to resolve border disputes through friendly consultations, it said.
The leaders also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa as well as Ukraine, stressing that regional conflicts can only be resolved through political and diplomatic means, according to the communique.