Tashkent hosted a meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The President of Belarus also took part in it as an observer. This makes Belarus the only European country to have acquired such a status.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded 15 years ago, groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Six other countries have observer status.
Initially the association was created to counter terrorism and extremism in the region of Central Asia. However, the organization's security tasks have been supplemented by economic and humanitarian ones. The states are also actively cooperating in scientific, technological, cultural, educational and tourism sectors.
Now India is on the verge of becoming another full-fledged member of the organization. The country is ranked first in the world in terms of economic growth.
On June 24, President Alexander Lukashenko met with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. It was held in Tashkent. The countries have a sufficient legal base to ensure that the relationship is developing successfully.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
As for our relations, Mr. Prime Minister, I have to say that they are developing quite dynamically, but in recent years, I have felt we need an additional impetus, a push to the development of our relations. And during the visit of the President of India to Belarus (it was a very successful and good visit), we agreed that approximately by 2018, we will reach a turnover of $1 billion. But, of course, we need to create a kind of road map, economic roadmap for this million, to achieve this milestone. We have very serious projects, bilateral projects that are now being implemented in the field of pharmacology, pharmaceutical industry and in the field of defense and other areas. We have a very well-developed cooperation between the Academies of Sciences, the community of scientists. Scientific and technical projects in the field of energy, space technology, green industries, nano- and bio-industry, robotics and pharmaceuticals, especially nuclear energy, have been actively developing between India and Belarus. We are seriously preparing to visit in November 2016 the International Trade Fair in New Delhi, where Days of Belarusian Science in India will be held. In short, we have good cooperation directions. But I think, Mr. Prime Minister, that we cannot stop there and should move forward. And we, of course, are looking forward to your greater presence in the center of Europe. I think it would be good for the Great India. And we are ready to do everything so that your interests in Belarus bring you as much profit as possible.
The SCO summit adopted the Tashkent Declaration. Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries agreed to expand trade and economic cooperation within the association. China's initiative to create the Silk Road of the Economic Belt has been supported. The states took a number of specific measures to combat cross-border crime.