• Saudi Arabia has approved to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a dialogue partner.
  • This will increase the number of dialogue partners to 7.
  • Iran also signed documents for full membership in 2022.
  • The dialogue partner status for Saudi Arabia will be a first step within the organisation before granting the kingdom full membership in the mid-term.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization

  • SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation aiming to maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.
  • It covers 40% of the global population, nearly 20% of the global GDP, and 22% of the world’s landmass.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was announced in 2001 by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, The Russian Federation, and the Republic of Tajikistan.
  • The SCO currently comprises of
    • eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan),
    • four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and
    • six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
  • SCO Secretariat in Beijing and Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent are its two permanent bodies
  • India and Pakistan became full members in 2017.
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