Belarus joins the SCO

Belarus has been a partner of the SCO since 2010 and an observer since 2015 / Collage by ( and Shutterstock), photo editor: Denis Andreev

Belarus has officially joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), becoming the tenth full-fledged member state of the organization.

«Belarus has become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This decision was approved at the SCO Council of Heads of State,» the BELTA news agency reported on July 4.

Before that, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko revealed what kind of initiatives his country would promote if it obtained full-fledged membership in the SCO. He also thanked Kazakhstan for its cooperation and support of the Belarusian application.

According to Lukashenko, Belarus is interested in cooperation with all member states of «a growing family of the SCO» in the sphere of security, countering both organized crime and the illegal trafficking of drugs and humans.

Belarus has been participating in SCO activities as a dialogue partner since 2012 and as an observer since 2015. Lukashenko officially approved Belarus joining the SCO two years ago at the SCO Council of Heads of States in Samarkand. In 2023, the country signed a memorandum describing the obligations Belarus needs to meet to obtain the status of an SCO member.

As of today, the members of the SCO are Belarus, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. However, delegations from Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Qatar, the UAE, Turkey, and Turkmenistan are also attending the current SCO summit in Astana.

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