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UPDATED: 13:43, February 12, 2007
Nepal aims to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization
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Nepal is working towards acquiring membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), from which the country could benefit by getting oil and energy support, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported on Monday.

Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Suresh Chandra Chalise said he had discussed with Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Sun Heping, recently about Nepal's desire to join the six-member SCO.

Besides India and Pakistan from South Asia, the countries receiving observer status of the grouping are Mongolia and Iran. Mongolia, Pakistan and Iran have already applied for full membership to the organization while India has not.

"Once we become a member of the SCO," said Chalise, "it would help Nepal where there is oil crisis in Nepal."

Nepal may apply for the membership during the SCO's 6th conference to be held in Shanghai on June 14-16 this year.

Nepal should acquire its membership and we should be trying to import oil from these countries," said Chalise. "The prime minister has already been convinced to acquire the membership. It's only a matter of time."

Chalise also believed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can also help Nepal in the energy sector to a great extent.

Senior government officials said SCO membership would end "Nepal's 100 percent dependency on India" for oil.

The SCO, founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, aims to promote regional security and fight against terrorism. It comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: Xinhua

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