Russia expects decision on SCO expansion at Ufa summit
MOSCOW, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Russia hopes that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will accept new members during the summit in the Russian city of Ufa this summer, Russian presidential special representative at the SCO said Friday.
"Active work on that issue is underway. We expect specific decisions would be made at the Ufa summit," Bakhtiyer Khakimov told the news briefing.
According to him, the SCO Summit Meeting scheduled on July 10 plans to adopt a strategy of the group's development until 2025, including the organization's expansion.
The SCO comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan as full members, with Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan in observer's status and Belorussia, Turkey and Sri Lanka being dialogue partners.
In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that India and Pakistan would be prioritized as candidates of full members.
Lavrov added that Iran's application could also be considered if progress would be made in solving the Iranian nuclear issue.
Khakimov also said that Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan republic, is expected to host a summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) from July 8 to 10.
"A joint session of these two organizations may take place on July 9," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
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