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Afghanistan wants ties to SCO

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, May 14 (UPI) -- Afghanistan wants observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and India and Pakistan want membership, the Russian foreign minister said Saturday.

Sergei Lavrov made the announcement at a planning meeting for the annual summit, RIA Novosti reported. The summit is scheduled June 15 in Astana, Kazakhstan. He said the applications will be discussed there.

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The group currently includes Russia, China, and four former Soviet republics in Central Asia, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are now observers.

Lavrov said the major topics at the summit will be drug addiction and trafficking in the region and the international situation.

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