China welcomes and supports Pakistan, Iran and India becoming observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Beijing Tuesday.
At a SCO foreign ministers' meeting held last Saturday in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, SCO member states agreed in principle to give the three countries SCO observer status. The SCO will make a formal decision on the issue at the forthcoming SCO summit, scheduled to be held in Astana in July.
Liu said the three are influential countries in the region, and China believes for them to become SCO observers will further promote mutual-beneficial cooperation between them and the SCO.
Foreign ministers from China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan, and vice foreign ministers from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan attended last Saturday's meeting, with Mongolian foreign minister attending the meeting as an observer.
The foreign ministers discussed furthering SCO cooperation and preparations for the forthcoming SCO summit, and they also exchanged views on other international and regional issues.
The SCO, set up in June 2001 to promote regional cooperation and fight terrorism, extremism and separatism, groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.