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Afghanistan unlikely to become SCO member soon due to domestic situation — diplomat

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The domestic situation in Afghanistan raises doubts that the country will be able to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) anytime soon, Russian Special Presidential Representative for SCO, Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy Bakhtiyer Khakimov said in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant daily.

The Russian diplomat pointed out that Afghanistan had requested membership in 2015. "It would seem logical to consider the bid but taking into account the membership conditions and the situation in the country, first and foremost, the foreign military presence, it is unlikely that Afghanistan will have a chance to obtain SCO membership in the near future," Khakimov added.

The Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was singed in China’s Shanghai in June 2001 by six founding states - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.