TASS– The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has started in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
The president of Kazakhstan, this year’s rotating chair state in the SCO, Nursultan Nazarbayev is meeting with the leaders arriving for the summit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already arrived for the meeting of the Council of Heads of State, the decision-making body in the SCO.
After the meeting ceremony, the leaders will pose for a family photo and hold a high-level meeting.
Kremlin Aide Yury Ushakov said the leaders would discuss SCO development, the war on terror, the Middle East and Afghanistan and Iran’s bid for SCO membership. During the summit, the full-fledged membership of India and Pakistan will be formalized.
The SCO summit will end with the signing of eleven documents, including the Astana Declaration, the Convention on Combating Extremism and a joint statement on countermeasures against international terrorism.
The Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was signed in China’s Shanghai in June 2001 by the six founding states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. India and Pakistan’s SCO accession procedures began in 2015.