India and Pakistan look set to become members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) after the existing members expressed willingness to expand the grouping during a meeting of its foreign ministers that was held on July 31 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The foreign policy chiefs of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also discussed the situations concerning Afghanistan and Ukraine, and financing of new investment projects.
The situation in Afghanistan causes the greatest alarm to the member states. Russia said it supported the signing of a framework agreement for cooperation on border issues as soon as possible. According to Sergey Lavrov, this cooperation will focus on the struggle against the infiltration of terrorists and religious extremists into Central Asian countries. Moscow would like to see this document signed as soon as in September, when the SCO Summit will be held in Dushanbe.