SCO expansion to help forge closer ties between members: Kyrgyz official

SCO expansion to help forge closer ties between members: Kyrgyz official

The expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will contribute to strengthening relations between its members, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry's special envoy for SCO affairs Irina Orolbaeva said Friday, Xinhua reported.

She made the remark during the forum "Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Experience and Prospects," which was held in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek to mark the 15th anniversary of the regional organization.

"In expansion of the SCO we must proceed from the overall interests of the organization, and our national interests, it is very important," she told the leading Kyrgyz experts, officials and representatives of diplomatic missions who attended the forum.

On the June signing of the memorandums of obligations for India and Pakistan to join the SCO, Orolbaeva said, "If we accept new states, it means it is necessary to build a relationship based on the fact that India and Pakistan will be our allies in the SCO."

The special envoy also said that Pakistan's membership may enhance the SCO role on the issue of Afghanistan.

She expected Pakistan and India will add political weight to the SCO, which is "facing new expectations and new goals."

Since its establishment, the regional bloc has seen effective cooperation between its members in trade, business, finance, energy and transportation, among other areas.

It has advocated and put into practice the pioneering Shanghai Spirit, which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development.

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