SCO expanding

India and Pakistan will now be out of the grips of Western influence.


In Ufa on June 10 a summit of the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) states will be held, which currently includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan have observer status. According to official information, the leaders of the SCO member states will adopt the strategy of development of the organization until 2025. By the way, the expansion of the unit has been officially declared for the first time. The new members of the SCO will soon be India and Pakistan. The issue of Iran, which has been seeking an opportunity to join the alliance for nearly 10 years, will be considered only after the lifting of all international sanctions from the country.

“One of the most important decisions that goes beyond the SCO summit is to connect Iran, which applied for it. It was decided to return to it after the conclusion of the negotiations on the nuclear program. If the UN Security Council sanctions are lifted, then Iran can actively join our cooperation,” presidential aide Yury Ushakov said in an interview to the TV channel Russia 24. He also admitted that it had already been decided to include India and Pakistan in the union. Thus, the SCO has become one of the largest economic organizations in the world.

“Now everyone is closely watching the talks on the Iranian nuclear dossier. As soon as the signatures are placed, and it could happen today or tomorrow, Iran will be able to proceed with the preparations of the documents for entry into the SCO,”  a senior fellow at the Analytical Center of MGIMO, Leonid Gusev, told Vestnik Kavkaza. According to him, the issue of Iran’s admission was first raised at the SCO summit in Tajikistan in 2008. However, Russia and China are not inclined to speed up the process because of the sanctions, preferring to wait for their withdrawal. That, the expert says, is why Tehran has been in the status of observer for all these years. Today, as we know, there are positive shifts, the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program can be completed with the signing of the agreement. At the same time, Gusev referred to the statement of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that if the sanctions are lifted, it will happen at the end of this year or early next year. That means, in case of a positive development of the talks between Tehran and the ‘’Six”  international mediators, the issue of  accepting Iran to the SCO will be resolved next year.

Meanwhile, in Tehran it is believed that it is not correct to link Iran’s membership of the organization to the lifting of the sanctions. They are convinced that the norms of the Charter of the SCO, which prohibits membership of a state that for one reason or another is under international sanctions, is outdated and does not correspond to the new global realities. Accepting India and Pakistan into the SCO is considered by Tehran to be a time bomb.

With regard to India and Pakistan, the Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that their acceptance will happen at the next summit of the SCO, which is likely to be held in New Delhi.

According to Leonid Gusev, to India, as the host country of the summit, it was  decided to make a gift. “For the first time in the 14 years of its existence, the SCO is in the process of expanding the number of full members. Hitherto, the new countries have been affiliated to the organization only as observers. However, Russia invited India to join the bloc in 2007. But that time Delhi did not display any special interest in this offer. It seems that with the change of government in India the foreign policy of the country has been corrected. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is promoting India in the international arena. In Delhi, it seems to have been decided that a full-fledged accession to the SCO corresponds to the policy, and is beneficial for the country at this stage,” Gusev said. According to him, China was against the entry of India. But they managed to reach a compromise together with India and Pakistan, the interests of which Beijing lobbies and supports.

Full article: SCO expanding (Vestnik Kavkaza)

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