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Russia, China counter new US Central Asia initiative

November 1, 2011

Yesterday, I wrote about the new US initiative in Central Asia, “The New Silk Road.”  Today, there is news on the counter move from Russia and China.  Details from ITAR/TASS:

Russia and China would like to seek India and Pakistan among the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, October 31, after a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin and his Chinese counterpart Cheng Guoping.

. . . No new admissions to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation were made at its summit in Astana on June 14-15. But “the interest in the Organisation is growing” and the SCO “makes an ever growing contribution to the development of confidence and security building measures”, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said earlier

. . . The status of SCO observers has been granted to Mongolia, India, Pakistan, and Iran (the latter is under a number of U.N. sanctions).  “A country that is seeking SCO membership may not be under U.N. Security Council sanctions,” a Russian diplomat at the SCO said earlier, referring to a provision in the joint statement adopted by the SCO foreign ministers.

A number of countries, including Iran, India, and Pakistan, have already stated their intention to join the SCO. However the organisation has so far had no mechanism for new admissions.

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