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Lavrov: Shanghai Cooperation Organization May Begin to Expand Later This Year

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Pakistan, India and Iran may be able to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the near future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan, India and Iran may be able to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the near future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"At the summit in Dushanbe, we will make decisions that will complete the formation of the legal, administrative and financial conditions for the admission of new members to the SCO. This will provide an opportunity to begin the expansion process during the Russian presidency," Lavrov said in an article published on Wednesday in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Lavrov recalled that Pakistan, India and Iran have already expressed their wish to become full members of the organization.

The minister noted that Russia intends to give priority to further enhancement of the SCO’s efficiency, the consolidation of efforts in order to ensure an adequate response to the events in the region and the whole world.

SCO’s true priority is still the regional security, in particular – the increase in opportunities for joint fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, especially against in the light of the situation in Afghanistan, the minister said.

On September 11-12, an SCO summit will be held in Dushanbe. It will be attended by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, heads and representatives of observers and guests of the summit, as well as international organizations. Immediately after the meeting, Russia will become the chairman of the organization for one year, till the next summit.

Tags:
military expansion, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Sergei Lavrov
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