10 years later, India gets inside SCO tent as member

Ending years of vacillation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation took a major step forward by agreeing to include India, the world’s largest democracy and Asia’s third largest economy, into the Eurasian grouping. The SCO’s 14thsummit in the Russian city of Ufa also decided to elevate Pakistan, India’s nuclear-armed neighbor, from observer to full membership.

The membership in the SCO is set to bolster India’s efforts to expand and consolidate strategic and economic ties with the energy-rich region. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was a defining moment in his ongoing eight-day trip to Russia and Central Asian states.

Speaking at the plenary of the SCO, Mr Modi expressed thanks to SCO members and outlined the importance of the grouping to New Delhi. “I convey our deep sense of gratitude to the members of SCO for accepting India as a full member,” he said. He also spoke about the natural linkages of history and said this move would help promote peace and prosperity in the region, often referred to as the pivot of human history.

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