Iran To Join Shanghai Cooperation Organisation On July 4th as A Full Member, As Bloc Holds Annual Heads Of State Meeting Chaired By India

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

Iran’s full membership admission to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the signing of a memorandum of commitment by Belarus to join the SCO is scheduled for July 4 at the Council of Heads of State of the organization, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated.

“At the upcoming July 4 meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State, Iran’s full membership will be formalized, and a memorandum of commitment by Belarus will be signed, which will also launch the procedure for its full accession to the SCO.” he said.

Lavrov also stated that the group also welcomes new dialogue partners. “From now on, the SCO space, taking into account both new members and dialogue partner states, stretches from Europe and the Middle East to South and Southeast Asia.” he added.

The SCO is a trade and security bloc that was founded in 2001 and currently includes as full members China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition to the full members, the SCO also includes Afghanistan and Mongolia as observers, and dialogue partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Cambodia, Egypt, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Turkiye, and the UAE. They will also be present, along with guests – who will include ASEAN and the CIS blocs, Turkmenistan, and the UN.

There have also been discussions to integrate the SCO with the EAEU and BRICS.

New Delhi currently holds the Chairmanship of the SCO.  The July 4th SCO summit is to take place in an online format, with Russian President Putin and Indian Prime Minister Modi discussing details of the event’s programme last Friday (June 30). Modi has also recently seen US President Biden in Washington.

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