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YEREVAN, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – Armenia would like to acquire observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a post-Soviet Eurasian security bloc, and it will need support from China to get it, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said Tuesday.
Sargsyan, on a visit to China, was assured by his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, that China would consider the matter with its partners in the SCO, the Armenian government press service said.
Keqiang said China welcomed Armenia’s wish to become involved in regional affairs. The SCO will hold a summit meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on September 13.
Founded in 2001, the SCO comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The organization aims to consolidate efforts to counter terrorism and radicalization among member countries, and to coordinate work in other areas such as politics and trade. Iran, Afghanistan, India, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status in the organization.
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.