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    Meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of Government and heads of delegations of SCO observer states. (File)

    Astana Ready to Approve Iran's Application to Join SCO - Kazakh FM

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    Kazakhstan is ready to approve Iran's application for full SCO membership, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said Friday.

    Meeting of SCO Defence Ministers
    © Photo : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
    ASTANA (Sputnik) — Kazakhstan is ready to approve Iran's application for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said Friday.

    "We again express our readiness to approve Iran's [application for] full membership in SCO. We hope that soon member states will also approve applications of Iran and other SCO partners for full membership and observer status," Abdrakhmanov said at the SCO ministerial meeting.

    Iran currently has an observer status within SCO. In 2008, the country applied for full membership, but the organization refused to consider the application amid UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

    The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance founded by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in 1996, with Uzbekistan joining as its sixth member state in 2001. In June 2016, the SCO members signed memorandums on India and Pakistan's accession, the process for which will be finalized at SCO summit in June 2017. Among the alliance's observer states are Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia, while Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka have dialogue partner status.

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    membership, application, meeting, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia
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