The accession process of India, Pakistan, and Iran to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can start this year, the Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov told the SCO Press Club on Tuesday, TASS reports.
“Russia welcomed the expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The main candidates are our partners from India, Pakistan and Iran,” the ambassador said.
At the moment, India, Pakistan, and Iran hold ‘observer’ statuses in the SCO, however all three nations have filed applications for official membership in the organization.
“Along with that, we understand that this process is rather lengthy, in accordance with the current rules of the organization. However, we hope that this year, in the framework of Russia’s presidency [in the SCO], certain political decisions at the highest level will be taken, which will launch this process,” Denisov said.
The summit of SCO and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is set to take place in Ufa – the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia – on July 8-10, 2015.