MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Syria has filed an application for an observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian Presidential Envoy for SCO Affairs and Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Asian and Pacific Cooperation Bakhtier Khakimov said on Friday.
"The issue of the Organization’s expansion is a topic we are currently working on," he said.
"As of today, we have applications for the status of a full-fledged member from Pakistan, Iran and India. Besides, a number of countries are requesting to grant them an observer status, particularly, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bangladesh and Nepal. Recently, we have received a request from Syria," the Russian diplomat said.
China, Russia and four Central Asian republics - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - established the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan.