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Vietnam bids to join SCO

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Vietnam has indicated its desire to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in a fresh sign of the rapidly growing clout and appeal of the Eurasian security body.

“Hanoi has signalled its intention to seek the status of ‘dialogue partner’ in the SCO,” said Kirill Barsky, special envoy of the Russian President to the SCO.

Vietnamese authorities conveyed their aspiration to Mr. Barsky during his recent trip to Hanoi. Earlier this year Turkey applied for a similar status.

The SCO, set up 10 years ago, has six full members – China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four “observer” states – India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, and two “dialogue partners” – Belarus and Sri Lanka. After the SCO lifted its moratorium on admission of new members last year, India, Pakistan and Iran have sought to upgrade their observer status to full membership. However, under the SCO rules Iran stands disqualified for now because it is under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Mr. Barsky did not rule out that India and Pakistan may be granted membership at the SCO’s next annual summit in Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 2012.

“There is consensus among the SCO members about the admission of India and Pakistan, but some procedural issues are still to be settled,” the diplomat said citing the size of fees and membership quotas for the SCO Secretariat and other bodies.

Mr. Barksy has reiterated Moscow’s desire to see India and Pakistan join the SCO at the earliest.

“Our position is that it is imperative that India and Pakistan be admitted as early as possible,” he told a media briefing at the RIA Novosti news agency. “Their membership is strategically important as it will lend the SCO a new geopolitical dimension and reinforce its credentials as an authoritative regional forum for security and cooperation.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:41:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/vietnam-bids-to-join-sco/article2681358.ece

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