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SCO Sees Increased Interest From Numerous States, Secretary General Says

© Sputnik / Ekaterina Shtukina / Go to the photo bankRussian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, first row fifth left, during joint photo opportunity with SCO heads of government and heads of delegations of observer states. (File)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, first row fifth left, during joint photo opportunity with SCO heads of government and heads of delegations of observer states. (File) - Sputnik International
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Numerous states from different regions are interested in joining the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) and at the moment Turkey is a dialogue partner, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Rashid Alimov told reporters after a special high-level SCO-UN event.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The states that are interested in joining SCO include Israel, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine and Maldivesamong others, Alimov stated.

"There is an increasing interest and it will grow further. Before there was no expansion, we were waiting for the right time," Alimov said on Tuesday. "Turkey is a dialogue partner. We are not in a hurry to expand our membership."

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s leadership has discussed possible accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan’s leader Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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The high-level special event "United Nations and Shanghai Cooperation Organization: jointly countering challenges and threats", held upon the SCO initiative, took place on Tuesday and enjoyed large attendance, including by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. According to Alimov, there were representatives of 153 attending the event.

Alimov explained such level of interest towards the Organization is in part by its open character and readiness to speak about various issues and cooperate.

He also said that SCO was waiting for the right conditions to start its expansion and is now ready to gradually proceed.

SCO is a political, economic and military alliance that includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Belarus, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan hold observer status in the organization, while Turkey, as well as Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Nepal and Sri Lanka hold status of dialogue partners. Pakistan, India and Iran have officially applied for SCO membership.

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