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Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt to Join Shanghai Cooperation

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt to participate as "Dialogue Partners" in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The Russian Presidential Envoy for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bakhtiar Hakimov said that the organization decided to grant the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar the status of a “dialogue partner” during the summit to be held on September 16-17.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established as a multilateral association to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast parts of Europe and Asia, to unite efforts to address emerging challenges and threats, and to promote trade as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation, according to the United Nations.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently includes 8 member states: Russia, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The organization includes 4 countries with “observer status”: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia, and there are 6 other countries with “dialogue partner” status: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, while Tajikistan will chair the organization in this year’s edition.

The Russian “TASS” news agency quoted the Russian special presidential envoy for Shanghai Organization affairs as saying: “The heads of state will discuss granting Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia the status of (a partner for dialogue), as these steps have now been agreed upon.”

“This is a very important decision and it confirms that the organization is evolving, moreover, there is potential to cover more and more new geographies,” he added.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001 to promote policies of mutual trust and good neighborliness among member states, combating terrorism, strengthening security, combating crime and drug trafficking, and confronting separatist movements and religious or ethnic extremism.

It aims to cooperate in the political, commercial, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural fields, transportation, education, energy, tourism, and environmental protection, and to provide peace, security, and stability in the region.

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