Interview: India to play active role in SCO cooperation: expert

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-07 10:05:49|Editor: Hou Qiang
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NEW DELHI, June 7 (Xinhua) -- India, to complete the process of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the upcoming Astana summit, will play an active role in enhancing cooperation among member countries, an analyst has said.

"Since becoming an observer country of the SCO in 2005, India has been seriously participating in the activities of SCO and aspiring to become a full member for a long time," said Punchok Stobdan, a senior fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses of India, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The south Asian country has so many reasons to join the SCO and get direct connection with the Central Asian region, said Stobdan, also former Indian ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.

India has enjoyed long-standing relations with the Central Asia region for thousands of years, so it wants to revive this relationship, he said, adding that the country has historical, cultural, political and economic reasons to be part of the organization.

India has maintained good bilateral relationship with SCO members respectively and cooperated with them in political and economic fields, as well as in capacity building, Stobdan said.

Stability of this region is very important to India, he underlined. "We don't want Central Asia to become another Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq."

"Central Asia is also rich in natural resources, energy and gas, India wants to take advantage of energy supplies," he said.

India and Pakistan, currently observer states of the SCO, are expected to gain full membership at the upcoming SCO summit slated for June 8-9 in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan.

Their admission will mark the first expansion of the SCO after its foundation 16 years ago. After the admission of the two South Asian countries, the SCO will become the world's most populous regional cooperative organization and the largest by area.

The expert said India is interested in cooperation in such areas as energy, connectivity, anti-terrorism and people-to-people exchange, and is ready to share its experience in development and achievements with other countries.

"The SCO is a good platform for India to engage and interact with the member countries on these related issues," said Stobdan.

"It's also good that the leaders of member countries can meet very often under the SCO," he said.

India has signed dozens of memoranda and documents on political, economic, scientific and regional cooperation within the framework of SCO and would assimilate into the organization as soon as possible to enhance cooperation according to the SCO charter and other agreements, said Stobdan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said earlier this month that China sincerely hopes India and Pakistan could conduct friendly cooperation and improve ties after their joining in the SCO, and inject new vitality into the development of the organization.

The SCO now groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.