Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
26th June, 2016
Syria, Egypt, and Israel have formally applied for accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Members also discussed the accession of Iran. The interest of Syria, Israel, and Egypt to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was stated at the briefing in Tashkent by special presidential representative for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyor Khakimov.
The request from Syria for a connection to work with an observer status came last year, but as the SCO member states agreed about the beginning of cooperation with newcomers from the lowest level, we are talking about a “partnership in dialogue”, said Khakimov. On Friday, the Presidents of the country-members of the SCO also discussed the prospect of Iran joining with permanent membership.
Currently the SCO’s six permanent members are Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The next summit of the SCO was held in Tashkent. The meeting was attended by the presidents of all six member countries. In addition to the six presidents, the SCO was attended by the leaders of the observer countries: President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, and Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Zarif. The special guest of the President of Uzbekistan was the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.