SCO considering Egypt's application for partner status

TEHRAN. KAZINFORM - The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has received an application for the status of dialogue partner from Egypt, and is considering 11 similar bids, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said on Monday.

"I'll note that there are around 11 applications for the observer or dialogue partner status. Maybe this is news for you, the SCO office on June 2 received an application for the dialogue partner status from...Egypt," Ushakov told journalists, reported.

The presidential aide added that Moscow hopes that Iran's bid for membership of the SCO will be approved as soon as international sanctions against the country imposed over its nuclear program are lifted.

The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance that includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The alliance has been holding annual summits since 1996.

Mongolia, Iran, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have observer status in the organization. In September 2014, Pakistan and India formally applied to join the alliance.

The position of a dialogue partner envisages a state or an organization that shares the common aims and principles of the SCO and expresses willingness to cooperate with member states on equal terms for mutual benefit.

On July 9-10, the Russian city of Ufa will host an annual SCO summit, IRNA reports.

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