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    SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION'S FORMAT IS NOT PLANNED TO BE ENLARGED, SAID RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

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    BEIJING, JANUARY 15, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI).The admission of new members to the SCO and the more so concrete candidates are not being discussed so far, said Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov.

    There necessary normative base has not been created yet, and the organisation should first be strengthened. Only then the enlargement of its format may be discussed, Igor Ivanov pointed out.

    As far as Mongolia's interest in the work of the organisation, the minister pointed out that the SCO mechanism as it was planned, gives wide opportunities for the equal and mutually advantageous cooperation with non-SCO states without their joining the organisation.

    I believe that we will be able to find an optimal scheme of collaboration between the SCO and Mongolia, meeting the possibilities and requirements of both sides, the minister declared.

    The SCO includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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