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Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz signed on 24 June 2016 the Memorandum of Obligations (MoO) of Pakistan with the aim of obtaining full membership of SCO at its Heads of State Summit at Tashkent. The MoO was jointly signed by the Foreign Ministers of Six SCO member states, Secretary General SCO and the Advisor on Foreign Affairs.

Pakistan has been an Observer at SCO since 2005. It has been a regular participant in the meetings of SCO and was the first SCO Observer to apply for full membership in 2010.

Pakistan’s request for membership was approved in principle by the Heads of State Summit held in Ufa Russia in July 2015. The Heads of State Council had “agreed to launch the procedure” of accepting Pakistan as a member state of SCO with the consensus of all the founding members.

SCO is important for Pakistan for the following reasons:

It allows Pakistan to underscore its interest in regional peace, stability and development and its support for regional cooperation against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

It provides us with a platform for forging closer ties with China, Russia and other members of SCO

It allows us to explore greater economic linkages and cooperation with Central Asian countries in the areas of energy and transport.

Participate actively in the SCO’s socio-economic activities and institutions like SCO Development Bank and SCO University and promote CPEC as the lynch pin for connectivity and economic cooperation in the region.

Consult and convey Pakistan’s perspective on regional issues to SCO member states and promote better relations with all the members in accordance with the ‘Shanghai Spirit”.

The Expansion in SCO membership will enhance importance and relevance of the Organization as its 8 Members would represent 45 percent of the total global population.

24 June 2016

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