19:56 GMT28 February 2020
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    Moscow supports Tehran’s willing to become SCO joint member, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow will maintain its support of Tehran’s aspirations to become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview.

    "We are also interested in strengthening our partnership with Tehran in regional affairs. We consider it an important factor of maintaining stability and security across a large territory from Central Asia and the Caspian region to the Middle East. We will continue to support Iran's pursuit of full SCO membership," Putin told the AZERTAC news agency.

    SCO currently comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with India and Pakistan set to be acceded by 2017.

    Since 2008, Russia has been advocating the idea of Iran's SCO membership, but the process had been complicated by the sanctions regime against Tehran, which has been lifted recently.

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    Shanghai Cooperation Organization, membership, Vladimir Putin, Tehran, Iran, Russia
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