Interview: Expansion of SCO Broadens Its Global Agenda, Says Expert

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The expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) broadens the organization’s horizons and global agenda, a Russian expert said.

“The expansion also leads to an expansion of the coverage of global issues, primarily in the field of security,” Tlesh Mamakhatov, an expert at the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang and other leaders of the member states of the SCO meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Thursday for the organization’s 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government, the first of its kind since its latest expansion in July.

The SCO was established in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in June 2017 and Iran in July 2023.

The inclusion of the three countries makes the SCO a more effective platform for dialogue, said the expert.

“With such an effective platform for mutual dialogue, I am confident that there will be more fruitful results, which will improve the international situation,” Mamakhatov said.

Since its inception in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO has expanded from an organization with six members into an organization with nine full members, three observer countries, and 14 dialogue partners, covering over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass and nearly half of the world’s population.

“The format of multilateral interaction between members opens up new opportunities for resolving many pressing issues today, such as energy cooperation, the issue of ensuring economic growth and coordinated counteraction to Western pressure and sanctions,” he said.

“The growing trade turnover among SCO countries inspires great optimism. However, a lot of work remains to be done to consolidate 

Source: Xinhua