KATHMANDU, July 10
Nepal has been granted the status of a dialogue partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an influential Eurasian political, economic and military bloc.
Nepal government has welcomed the decision, which was taken during SCO’s 15th annual summit that was held in Russian city of Ufa on Friday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hosted the Summit, announced during his opening speech that Nepal, along with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Cambodia has joined the SCO family as partners in dialogue. The six founding SCO member-states are China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Ufa summit also granted full membership to India and Pakistan.
Earlier, the SCO had three dialogue partners — Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
Heads of state or government of all SCO members, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were present during the Ufa Summit.
Terming it as one of the major achievements of Koirala-led government’s foreign policy, PM’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Dinesh Bhattarai said Nepal would have an opportunity to engage and cooperate with the emerging powers of SCO nations.
Nepal had been seeking a dialogue partner status of the bloc for years.
“Nepal believes that SCO dialogue partner status will provide Nepal opportunities to have more interactions and cooperation with SCO member states, especially in the areas of trade, energy, economy, culture, tourism, environment and security and help forge mutually beneficial partnerships with the organisation,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday.
Nepal thanked all member countries of SCO for their decision and pledged to work together in order to realise the objectives of the organisation.
With its Secretariat in Beijing, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is an inter-governmental international organisation established in June 2001 in Shanghai, China. Its basic principles include mutual trust and benefit, equal rights, consultations, respect for the diversity of cultures and aspiration towards common development.
A version of this article appears in print on July 11, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.