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SCO countries must counter external interference, says Secretary General

Zhang Ming pointed to the need to "strengthen unity, interaction and activity"

BEIJING, September 16. /TASS/. Countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) must work together to counter external interference, Secretary General Zhang Ming said on Friday during the organization's summit.

"It is important to strengthen interaction, trust each other and resolutely oppose outside interference," the SCO Secretary General said.

Zhang Ming pointed to the need to "strengthen unity, interaction and activity" and urged member states "to continue adhering to the SCO Charter and the principle of the Shanghai spirit" amid global changes in the international arena and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded in 2001, are India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 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 for Iran's admission to the organization and granting the status of a dialogue partner to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This year, Belarus officially applied to join the SCO as a full member.