Pakistan keen for full membership of regional body

November 6th, 2011 - 1:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Nov 6 (IANS) Pakistan wants to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security body that is meeting in Russia Monday, authorities said here.

“Pakistan is desirous of becoming a full member of this forum on account of its immense potential for dealing with common regional challenges,” Foreign Office said in a statement.

Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani reaches the Russian city of Saint Petersburg Sunday to represent Pakistan at the 10th Heads of Government meet of the SCO, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Gilani will attend the summit Nov 7, on the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who expressed confidence that the forthcoming session would promote cooperation between Pakistan and other member states.

The Russian premier has conveyed his desire to meet Gilani on the sidelines of the meet.

It is a regional security organisation.

Founded in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan holds the observer status along with Mongolia, India, and Iran whereas Sri Lanka and Belarus have been granted the status of dialogue partners.

The upcoming session is aimed at highlighting importance of coordination among the member states on issues of resolving economic crises and developing trade, economic and humanitarian ties along with other observer states and regional partners.

The SCO deals with issues of common regional concern including trade, connectivity, energy cooperation, security-related collaboration, drug trafficking, extremism and terrorism.

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