Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

PM Modi, Chinese President Xi likely to meet in Astana

Marta Holmes | 08 June, 2017, 01:21

Whether or not a meeting materialises between Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif (the government said there's no proposal yet), Modi's bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit is expected to be one of the highlights in Astana.

It is worth mentioning here that the Shanghai five was created by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in 1996 to deepen military trust in border regions. Turkey was approved as one of six "dialogue partners" in 2012; it was established in 2003 with the aim of promoting cooperation between members and maintain regional stability.

Till now China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the group's full members. Srinivas said that there could be a couple of more bilateral meetings between India and heads of the member states.

Nazarbayev said the SCO unites about 40 percent of the world population.

Despite this, India and Pakistan's accession to the SCO today will enable both countries to strengthen ties with Central Asian states to feed their growing demand for hydrocarbons and strengthen anti-terror cooperation.

Briefing media in Delhi this evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, India will be benefited in trade and economic activity after it becomes a full member.

MEA joint secretary (Eurasia) G V Srinivas said, as a member, India will participate fully in any SCO exercise, including on terrorism.

We launched the process of full membership in Tashkent meeting of the SCO past year.

"So that process has been completed from our side - essentially entailing to a couple of agreements as per the calendar drawn by the memorandum of obligations - something which we have relayed to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation secretariat in Beijing".

"The SCO members do not want to antagonize the new U.S. president", Weitz believes.

"Membership enlargement could make the organization stronger by giving the SCO more collective resources (people, aggregate GDP, etc.), but it could also weaken the SCO's internal cohesion due to the well-known differences between the new members, reinforcing the divergences already present in the organization", Weitz told Trend June 7. "The 38 documents we have signed as a part of the formal membership process make no mention of it (OBOR)", he said.

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