SCO: heading for expansion and stability
More and more countries are willing to enter the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which indicates the growing authority of the organization, the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev said at the session of the Council of heads of governments of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries, the press service of the head of state reports.
"Together, we are making a huge work, and I think that this work is of global scale - the stronger the SCO is, the more stable situation in the world will be. And the fact that Bishkek is attended by the heads of governments of SCO member states is a great honor for the host country," he said, adding that the decision to give India and Pakistan a status of SCO member countries will boost the organisation's capacity.
"In Ufa, we have adopted a strategy of the SCO development. We should stick to this strategy, where everything is planned for 10 years ahead," the Kyrgyz President stressed.
The 15th session of the Council of heads of governments of SCO member countries, which is being held in the Kyrgyz capital, is attended by the heads of governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The main focus will be on prospects for developing economic cooperation between SCO member countries. It is planned to approve the organization’s budget for 2017. A list of events for 2017-2021 is also being prepared. 10 documents are planned to be adopted at the end of the summit, some of them have significant importance.
The Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, Andrey Korneev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, in the first place recalled that the decision on accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO was made at the summit in Ufa. At the same time, he noted that the participation of these two countries in the organization will seriously expand its sphere of responsibility, as well as strengthen its economic potential. "If the original six member-states of the SCO have carried out their work in Central Asia, now the area of its influence will spread to South Asia. It is an extremely important region, especially given the fact that India is demonstrating a very high economic growth," the expert said.
In addition, he pointed out that Pakistan and India share similar approaches with the SCO members on many issues. "For example, at the recent summit of the BRICS countries, India was one of those countries which expressed a principled stand in the fight against terrorism," the expert noted.
In addition, he said that today the SCO is not a military bloc, it is more a kind of club of countries that share common approaches on many issues of regional and even global world order.
Speaking about what other countries may become SCO members in the short term, he drew attention to Iran.
"It is no secret that Turkey is interested in cooperating with the SCO. Therefore, we can say that Turkey can join it in the medium term. This country also has important geographical position, but it is a NATO member, so we can speak only about some form of cooperation with the SCO. There are a number of CSTO countries: Armenia, Belarus also could cooperate at some point, and even receive some status in the SCO," the Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University explained.
Answering a question what documents can be signed at the summit, the expert suggested that it can be some additional agreements in the economic sphere, as there is a need to revive the multilateral forms of cooperation.
"In principle, the SCO countries do the good job in a bilateral format - for example, China and Russia, China and Kazakhstan, Russia and Kazakhstan, etc., but it is not always possible to implement projects involving three or more countries. There is a need for more harmonious trade, commercial and economic environment, where countries would gradually move towards uniform standards. I mean the protection of investments, the tax and customs legislation," Andrei Korneev concluded.