Afghanistan Looms over SCO Summit
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Kazakhstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit that opens in Astana on Wednesday. The organization groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Iran, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan also take part as observers.
Afghanistan's future after the planned pullout by US and NATO forces is expected to dominate the discussions during the summit. The country's future security and its newly-found vast mineral resources is turning Afghanistan into a center of rivalry between regional powers, namely Iran, Pakistan and India and the heavyweights, China, US and Russia. It appears that the sequel to the Great Game is beginning to be played out in the country.