SAMARKAND, September 16. /TASS/. The procedure of granting Belarus the status of a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has started, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced.
"We are starting the procedure of granting the Republic of Belarus full SCO member status," Mirziyoyev said on Friday as he opened an expanded meeting of the organization's summit in Samarkand.
"Today, a memorandum on the obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a full-fledged member of the organization (part of the procedure for obtaining SCO membership - TASS) is signed. <...> We welcome the signing of memorandums granting the status of dialogue partners to the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Qatar," he added.
Mirziyoyev also announced the beginning of procedures for granting the status of dialogue partners to Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, the UAE and Myanmar.
The declaration on the creation of the SCO was signed in Shanghai in June 2001 by six countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. At present, the organization also includes India and Pakistan. The organization’s observer countries are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, and its partner countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. The SCO summit in Dushanbe in September 2021 began the procedure of Iran's admission to the organization. This year, Belarus officially applied to join the SCO as a full member.