MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar will receive dialogue partner status following the SCO summit in Dushanbe on September 16-17, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyer Khakimov said in an interview with TASS.
"Currently, the draft list contains more than 30 documents that must be approved by the heads of state and about six or eight that are due to be signed as part of the event. In my view, major decisions are the decision to start the procedure for Iran’s accession and grant the dialogue partner status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Such steps have been agreed on by now," he said.
According to Khakimov, this is a very important decision confirming that the organization is "developing and getting stronger." Moreover, its potential is "covering more and more new geographical areas," he noted. "The Middle East dimension is emerging. That attests to the SCO’s influence and interest in its activities. The package of applications is impressive too. There are many countries that would like their status to be upgraded or join the SCO in one capacity or another," he stressed.
The SCO is a regional international association. Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are its full-fledged members. Four states (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia) have observer status, while six more countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey) are dialogue partners. Tajikistan is holding the SCO presidency in 2021.