BISHKEK, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can become an essential component of the global security system in the future, says Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Emil Kaikiyev.
"To date, the SCO has become an authoritative regional organization and an example of a new type of association. In the long term, as the organization is strengthened and its geospatial framework is expanded through the admission of new members and the development of dialogue mechanisms at the international level, it can become in the future an essential component of the global security system," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The Kyrgyz official said that one of the important issues of the upcoming SCO summit in Astana will be the accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO. "The decision is historic, and the organization's members will be increased to 8 states," he said.
The SCO now covers China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The accession procedures for India and Pakistan started in 2015.
China said last week that India and Pakistan will complete the process of joining the SCO during the Astana summit, the first time for the SCO to expand membership since its founding in 2001.
Kaikiyev believes that the expansion will further strengthen cooperation in security and interstate economic interaction.
"The total territory of the SCO member countries will make 60 percent of the territory of Eurasia, and the total population of the SCO countries will be about 3 billion and 40 million people (about half of the world's population)," he added.
The Kyrgyz official also believes that two countries' accession will not change the organization's principles and goals.
"The SCO expansion is envisaged in the basic documents of the organization and is considered by the founding states as important for the further development of the SCO," he said.
Kaikiyev said that the essence of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping is to search for, formulate and promote a new model of international cooperation and development by strengthening current regional bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and interaction structures.
He added that the initiative, based on the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, calls for new mechanisms for regional economic partnership, common economic prosperity, more cultural exchanges and closer links between different civilizations, as well as peace and sustainable development.
He emphasized that the initiative has brought new opportunities and great prospects for Central Asia. He recalled that the SCO member states took part in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14-15.
"The participants of the forum in the Joint Communique noted that the projects under the initiative can provide new opportunities for deeper cooperation and already received positive results. They welcomed and supported the initiative, which is aimed at strengthening connectivity between Asia and Europe and is open to other regions, such as Africa and South America," he said.
"In this regard, the SCO member states will continue multilateral cooperation in transport, including building new routes and upgrading the current international transport routes," he added.
He said the organization is working on the SCO Road Development Program designed to improve road networks, optimize transport links in the zones of goods production and consumption among member states.