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Duma Speaker Calls For India's Full Membership In SCO

The speaker of Russia's State Duma says the Kremlin wants India to become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) this year.

Sergei Naryshkin said on February 27 in New Delhi that Russia "will take all necessary steps to secure a positive decision on India's application for full-fledged cooperation" at the net SCO summit which will be held this July in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan.

Naryshkin, who is India with a two-day official visit, also said that India is “already playing a proactive role in the work of the SCO as an observer."

The SCO was created in 1996 as Shanghai Five to foster confidence along the borders between China and four former Soviet states -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

It changed its name in 2001 after Uzbekistan joined.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Mongolia, and India are observers in the group, while dialogue partners are Turkey, Belarus, and Sri Lanka.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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