ASTANA (Sputnik) — The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has not received an official application from Turkey to join the organization, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov said on Tuesday.
"It’s Turkey’s decision, but there is no official application from Turkey yet. The issue of accepting a new member into the organization is a prerogative of all SCO member states. They must reach a consensus on the issue. Everyone's heard some reports in the media but it is not an official application. Apparently, someone just said out loud what they were thinking. Of course, we pay attention to it," Idrissov said at a press briefing.
"What is important here is a clear intention, the desire of Turkey itself. You know that the issue is not that simple, keeping in mind Turkey’s European aspirations," the minister added.
The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Belarus, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan hold observer status in the organization, while Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka have the status of dialogue partners. Pakistan, India and Iran have officially applied for SCO membership.