SAMARKAND, September 16. /TASS/. Moscow supports the decision to launch the procedure for Minsk’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at Friday’s SCO summit.
"We fully support the decision to start the procedure for admitting Belarus to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that has yet to be approved by the Council of SCO Heads of State," the Russian leader said. Moscow has always been in favor of granting its strategic partner and closest ally Minsk full-fledged SCO membership, Putin emphasized.
"This would certainly help improve opportunities for integration in politics, the economy, security and in the humanitarian sphere," the Russian leader said.
Putin also welcomed the decision to grant the status of SCO dialogue partners to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and to launch the procedure for granting the same status to Bahrain, Kuwait, the Maldives and the UAE.
"The circle of those wishing to cooperate in one capacity or another with the Shanghai [Cooperation] Organization is far from being limited to these countries, and all applications from other states and international associations to join the work of the SCO deserve the most careful attention and benevolent consideration," the Russian president noted.
Putin also congratulated Uzbekistan on its successful presidency in the SCO and wished India great success in taking the baton.