Iran should be next candidate for membership in SCO – Putin’s envoy

Sputnik – Russia sees Iran as the next candidate for full membership in the SCO after the accession of India and Pakistan.

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Russia sees Iran as the next candidate for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) after the accession of India and Pakistan, Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy to the SCO Bakhtier Khakimov said Thursday during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

“The next candidate, according to Russia, following India and Pakistan, should be Iran, as well as other states that meet our criteria for the SCO membership,” Khakimov said.

According to the envoy, the SCO has a great potential to become the key international platform.

“It is about the potential that the SCO has — 24 percent of the world GDP after the accession. Today we see the wide geographic scope of the organization — 18 member states, observers and dialogue partners,” Khakimov stressed.

The SCO is an intergovernmental international organization, established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan. At the summit in Uzbekistan in June 2016, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization. The SCO’s 2017 summit will be held in Astana on June 8-9.

SPIEF, held in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between Thursday and Saturday, is a major global platform for representatives of business community to cooperate and discuss crucial economic issues facing Russia and the world in general. Sputnik News Agency is the official media partner of the event.