India is in touch with members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with regard to its membership in the six-nation grouping, the government said on Thursday, contending that its entry would add "value and stature" to the SCO.
Its June summit held in Astana, attended by external affairs minister S M Krishna, formally opened the SCO's doors to new members by approving a 'memorandum of obligations', which would enable non-member countries to apply for SCO membership.
"I am also in touch with all my counterparts in SCO member countries on India's case for full membership of the Organisation and have received positive responses," Krishna said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
India, as an Observer of grouping, has been regularly attending SCO Summits at the ministerial level and has made clear its readiness to play a larger role in the Organisation. He said India was in the process of obtaining all relevant documents from the SCO Secretariat for further study before a formal application is made.
SCO offers excellent platform and opportunity for enhancing security and economic cooperation in the region, he said.
"India's entry into SCO will not only add value but also enhance stature of the Organisation...This is an important grouping," the minister said.
Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are members of the SCO.
Replying to another query, Krishna "totally ruled out" that any country could exert pressure on India from joining any grouping.