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Belarus becomes SCO member state

ASTANA, 4 July (BelTA) – Belarus has become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This decision was formalized at the SCO Heads of State Council meeting in Astana, BelTA has learned.

Thus, Belarus became the tenth member of the “SCO family”. The other nine are India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 

“The decision on the full membership of the Republic of Belarus in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has been made. Dear Aleksandr Grigorievich, I sincerely congratulate you on this. I am sure that today will become a bright page in the history of Belarus,” said Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who chaired the summit. 

He expressed confidence that Belarus will make a significant contribution to strengthening security in the SCO space. 

The day before, in an interview with the Kazinform international news agency, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he spoke about the enormous potential of this organization from the first days of the SCO’s founding: “We immediately became interested in its initiatives and began to participate in its projects even before it became so influential. We joined it as a partner state, and were granted an observer status in 2015. Thus, we have been working our way up to full membership. Many Belarusian proposals put forward at the organization's platform over these years have been upheld.” 

“The SCO is not just an international organization for Belarus. It is a strategic perspective. I mean, first of all, cooperation in trade, economy and investment, as well as the development of infrastructure in transport, logistics, ICT and other sectors,” the president emphasized. 

Belarus became a dialogue partner in the SCO in 2010 and an observer state in 2015. Following the SCO Heads of State Council meeting in Samarkand on 16 September 2022, a document was signed to launch the process of Belarus' accession to the organization as a full-fledged member. As part of this process, Belarus has acceded to more than 40 treaties.

There are two observer states - Afghanistan and Mongolia, and 14 dialogue partners - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bahrain, Egypt, Cambodia, Qatar, Kuwait, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye and Sri Lanka. 

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent intergovernmental international organization, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

The founding document of the organization is the SCO Charter signed in June 2002.

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