BEIJING, September 14. / TASS /. The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) participating states will decide on expanding the SCO membership at the summit in Dushanbe on September 16-17, Secretary General of the organization Vladimir Norov told TASS on Tuesday.
"The leaders of our countries will make decisions on expanding the SCO family, in particular, on admitting new countries, Dialogue Partners, and launching the negotiation process for full membership in the organization," Norov said. "This clearly confirms the principle of openness of our organization as well as the firm intention to follow it in practice," according to the secretary general.
As Norov mentioned, currently, "a solid list of documents has been prepared to be signed at a meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council." "Some three quarters of these [documents] are going to be signed at the level of heads of state, the rest - at the level of heads of ministries, departments and international organizations," the SCO secretary general noted.
Norov also said that "these decisions <…> would open a new page in the organization’s progressive development, multiply its contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the region and across the world, ensuring sustainable development and boosting cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the vast area of the SCO."
Tajikistan’s Department of Information and Press of the Foreign Ministry earlier stated that the heads of the SCO member states, during the summit in Dushanbe, were expected to decide on launching the procedure for admitting Iran as a full member state of the organization and granting the Dialogue Partner status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The SCO is an international organization that was established on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai, China. The organization includes India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Four countries, namely Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, have Observer State status, while six countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka) are Dialogue Partners.