The entry of India and Pakistan into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will strengthen security cooperation in the eight-member grouping, a top Chinese official said ahead of the SCO summit starting in Qingdao city tomorrow.
The SCO meeting comes after President Donald Trump controversially pulled Washington out of the 2015 global pact with Iran that placed limits on its nuclear programme in return for easing economic sanctions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India looks forward to enriching the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with its active participation and working closely with other members of the bloc, as he met the secretary general of the grouping Rashid Alimov here.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will open late Saturday a two-day regional security summit attended by Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the USA over trade and Washington's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.
This year, Iran stands to gain a lot because it "is now evaluating the signatories of the nuclear deal to see to what extent they'll be able to effectively maintain it even after the US's withdrawal", according to Gao Shangtao, an expert on Middle East relations at Beijing Foreign Affairs College. Observer status is granted to Mongolia, Iran, Belarus and Afghanistan.
The Chinese President welcomed Pakistan's representation in the Organization as a member.
"PM Modi arrived in the picturesque coastal city of Qingdao on a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)".
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The SCO now has eight member countries which represents around 42 per cent of the world's population and 20 per cent of the global GDP.
The 2015 nuclear deal lifted that barrier.
Gokhale said Xi referred to the growing popularity of Indian films and not only spoke about the success of the movie Dangal in China, but also mentioned that Baahubali 2 and other Hindi movies had done well in the country.
India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
The SCO meeting - which also features Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani - comes as the U.S. considers new sanctions on Iran, and immediately before U.S. President Donald Trump's scheduled meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.
The President said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor was an important part of Belt and Road Project.
Sources indicated that India's focus would be to include its concerns over cross border terrorism in the final outcome document of the summit.