Afghanistan is seeking to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the organisation’s Secretary General has said.
According to Dmitry Mezentsev, Afghan officials have tabled the request recently. “The Afghan authorities have recently applied to the president of the country chairing the SCO requesting for its full membership in the Organization.”
He has said current situation in Afghanistan has a special place on the SCO’s agenda of the day and issues relating to providing regional stability have assumed more significance.
“Cooperation with Afghanistan must be built not only on combating terrorism or drug trafficking but also in the economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres,” the SCO official said, noting that the SCO keeps and develops new system of priorities – expansion of cooperation in economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are six observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Sri Lanka and Turkey.
The Organization’s six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world's population. With observer states included, its affiliates account for about half of the world's population.