Saudi Arabia, Egypt may receive SCO partner status

Dushanble, Jul 14 (Agency) Foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations approved a decision to grant the status of dialogue partners to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin said on Wednesday. “The Foreign Ministers Council signed decisions on granting this status to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which will be submitted for approval by the Council of Heads of State,” Muhriddin told briefing after the SCO meeting in Dushanbe.

The foreign ministers also discussed the results of the SCO’s activities over 20 years, tasks for further cooperation, as well as topical international and regional issues, the minister went on. “It was stated at the meeting that over two decades, the SCO, relying on the ‘Shanghai spirit’, has asserted itself as an authoritative interstate organization of a new type and an influential participant in the system of international relations,” the diplomat stated. The SCO Ministerial Council, he continued, paid special attention to Afghanistan, where the situation has intensified after the withdrawal of foreign troops.

“The heads of delegations discussed issues of deepening further cooperation in economic area. The ministers adopted the Plan of Joint Measures as a basis to overcome the negative socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. The SCO is a permanent inter-governmental and international organization that is currently composed of eight member states: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey are six dialogue partners. The SCO mainly focuses on regional security issues, the fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism.