The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is willing to take on the responsibility for maintaining security and ensuring development in the South Asian region, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov told reporters in response to a question about conflict between India and Pakistan.
“India and Pakistan fully support the SCO approach to tackle terrorism and extremism which is the foremost threat for regional security and stability,” he said.
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The SCO currently includes eight countries namely, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Four states, specifically, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, have observer status. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are the dialogue partners.
Norov recalled that India and Pakistan co-authored the Bishkek summit declaration, supporting its key message which states that “member nations find it important to use the potential of the region’s states, international organizations and multilateral associations in the interest of forming a wide, open, mutually beneficial and equal Eurasian cooperation space with the aim to ensure stable security and sustainable development.”
“This means that the organization is ready to take on the responsibility for security and development in the region,” Norov said.
Prior to formally joining the SCO, both India and Pakistan were the observer states of the organization.” Both India and Pakistan who are now full members of the SCO are suppose to maintain long-term and friendly relations with all the member states including each other as per the SCO charter,” the secretary-general stated.
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“Today, India and Pakistan are sitting with each other on the negotiation table with six founder states, resolving the issues of regional importance: ensuring regional security, mutual counteraction of threats and challenges, ensuring social-economic development.
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Regarding the conflict between member states, “the SCO follows the principle of non-interference, believing that the basic principles of the Charter signed by its member states are enough to find compromise and agreement through existing bilateral mechanisms,” Norov emphasised.