Ufa: India along with arch rival Pakistan have been inducted as the permanent members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a group dominated by Russia and China and also including former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
Membership in the group potentially offers Pakistan and India greater access to the energy resources of Central Asia. Putin opened the annual summit on Friday by announcing the acceptance of India and Pakistan as members. He said Belarus would obtain observer status, joining Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia.
The Russian president called for greater cooperation in fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan and the financing of terrorism.
Earlier on Thursday, the Russian president had assured the Indian premier India’s accession into the SCO.
“We are beginning the process of full-fledged inclusion of India into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,” Putin told Modi during talks in the Russian city of Ufa.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping had earlier told a news briefing that “…India and Pakistan’s admission to the SCO will play an important role in the SCO’s development and it will play a constructive role in pushing for the improvement of their bilateral relations.”