India strikes river, rice deals with China as relations thaw

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 summit comes after US President Trump controversially pulled Washington out of a 2015 global pact with Iran that placed limits on its nuclear programme in return for easing economic sanctions.

President Xi Jinping accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to visit India for the next informal summit.

However, there is no official word on whether there will be any interaction between Modi and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, who is scheduled to attend the meeting in China.

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.

Iran and Afghanistan are among four so-called "observer states" which are seeking full membership.

Russian Federation is also a major player in the Eurasian group of eight countries, which includes some of the largest populations on the planet. Iran applied for full SCO membership in 2008 but was denied on the grounds that it was under United Nations sanctions, an obstacle alleviated by President Obama's nuclear deal in 2015.

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The 2015 nuclear deal lifted that barrier.

The declaration will hold details of the significant mechanism for resisting the global terror activities. The message read, "The SCO has a rich agenda for cooperation, ranging from fighting terrorism, separatism, and extremism to promoting cooperation in connectivity, commerce, customs, law, health, and agriculture; protecting the environment and mitigating disaster risk, and fostering people-to-people relations".

The tensions over Iran come as another nuclear issue dominates headlines, with Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un preparing for an unprecedented summit in Singapore.

He also felicitated his Chinese counterpart on the successful conduct of SCO Summit in China.

The President said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor was an important part of Belt and Road Project.

The SCO has two sub-divisions including Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) and SCO Secretariat.

India and China on Saturday agreed on measures to build on the consensus achieved by their leaders during recent talks in Wuhan, including the next informal summit to be held in India in 2019 and steps to maintain peace along the disputed border.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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