SCO to admit new members: India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia
Draft documents on the procedure of the admission new members to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have been adopted. This is one of the main outcomes of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirgizstan held in Dushanbe on Thursday.
The adoption of these documents at the next SCO summit will give the green light for admitting the four observer-states, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia, to the six-member organization.
Documents will be submitted to the SCO summit for the adoption. The summit will be held in Dushanbe in September. At present, Tajikistan holds the SCO presidency.
The quartet has expressed their desire to join the SCO in the past few years. The four countries have taken part in economic and cultural projects of the organization as observer-states. The desire of India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia reflects the growing authority and influence of the SCO in the eyes of Asian countries, says expert at the Higher School of Economics Alexei Maslov.
“At present, the SCO has started to counterbalance NATO’s role in Asia. Consequently, these countries want to take part in the SCO in the capacity of safeguard of their interests. At present, the SCO is strengthening because the American policy towards Asia has been excessively tough and is aimed at suppressing their interests. The American policy contradicts the interests of Asian countries. In this sense, it’s quite natural that India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia expressed desire to join the SCO. There is another aspect that has to be taken into account. The growing role of China in the world shows that many countries are afraid of directly cooperating with it without outside backing. In this context, SCO enters in the capacity of guarantor that China will honour the interests of these countries in the framework of the existing SCO guidelines,” Maslov said.
The admission of India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia will pave the way for the SCO to hold itself out as the centre of power in global politics, says expert at the Institute of International Studies, Leonid Gusev.
“If these countries become the SCO permanent members, this means that the organization will turn into a powerful structure. If other countries join the SCO, then we can say about the appearance of an alternative powerful global organization because it will be seriously reckoned,” Gusev said.
By giving green light to the admission of the quartet, the SCO shows that it is organizationally developing and capable of upgrading itself and rejecting exhausted norms, says Alexei Maslov.
“It has long considered that the admission of new members to the SCO, which have serious problems between them, for example India and Pakistan, would be dangerous for its future. The reason here was that this might led to grow strain between members. However, there are special relations between China and Pakistan. For one, China lobbies the admission of Pakistan to the SCO. Meanwhile, Russia actively supports the SCO membership of India, Iran and Mongolia. At present, owing to the admission of the quartet, the SCO will be able to create a powerful organization in Asia and it will be a powerful economic, cultural and educational network,” Gusev said.
The foreign ministers adopted a draft strategy for the development of the SCO up to 2025. It was submitted by Russia. It has set the task of minimizing the negative influence of global and regional processes on the SCO territory. It is also aimed at upgrading its role and significance in solving global issues.