India attaches great importance to its association with SCO: Krishna

June 15. ANI. Astana

India attaches great importance to its association with SCO: KrishnaExternal Affairs Minister S.M Krishna on Wednesday said India attaches great importance to its association with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and values the consistent and mature contribution made by the organisation to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Addressing the 11th SCO Heads of States Summit here, Krishna said: “India has demonstrated its strong commitment to the SCO by participating constructively at SCO meetings open to Observers. It is of great importance to us that most SCO member countries are our neighbours or belong to our extended neighbourhood, with a strong historical and cultural legacy of centuries binding us together.”

“Connectivity between SCO countries is in fact central. One bottleneck to trade and economic activity among the SCO members and observer countries is the lack of viable transport linkages,” he added.

Stating that the SCO can address the problem of limited connectivity through regional solutions and break barriers that inhibit trade and investment flows between the member countries, Krishna said: “India is ready to cooperate with member countries to find viable solutions to this problem and contribute to the endeavor to build bridges between Central and South Asia.”

Krishna said the Memorandum of Obligation being discussed by this Summit would pave the way for expansion of the organisation in a natural process of its evolution.

“India would be happy to play a larger and deeper role in the SCO when the rules and criteria for full membership are clear. We value the role of the SCO in bringing security, stability and development to our region and stand ready to contribute more to the SCO for the common good of the people of our region,” said Krishna.

“We have friendly ties with all the member states and we wish to bring to the table our technical expertise, markets and financial commitment, all of which equip us to fulfill greater responsibilities in this forum,” he added.

Krishna further said: “SCO members and observers could cooperate more in the future on regional and global threats arising out of climate change, environmental security, food security, energy security, particularly non-conventional sources of energy and other emerging issues which require a joint response for sustainable development. India stands ready to make a constructive contribution in these areas.”