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Saudi Arabia becomes Shanghai Cooperation Organisation dialogue partner

March 29, 2023 at 3:00 pm

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Royal Court of Saudi Arabia – Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia has moved a step closer to joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a powerful regional bloc led by China and Russia, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Cabinet approved a memorandum on becoming a dialogue partner in the SCO during a Tuesday meeting chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The SCO was founded in June 2001 by China, Russia and the Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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The Eurasian political, economic and security alliance is recognised as the world’s largest regional organisation, with eight members, four observer states and several dialogue partners, including Turkiye.

Pakistan and India became full members in 2017.

Iran, an SCO observer state since June 2005, had its permanent membership approved in September 2021 and signed a memorandum of commitment a year later for its full accession.

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