Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
June 23, 2016
Presidents of member states and countries with the status of observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) were in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, on June 23 for the start of a two-day summit.
SCO leaders at the gathering are talking about issues that include regional security and the current situation in Afghanistan.
The Kremlin said on June 22 that the possible accession to the SCO of India and Pakistan during 2017 would be discussed.
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on June 22 that the possible future admission of Iran to the SCO would be discussed.
The current members of the SCO are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan currently have observer status in the group.
Chinese President Xi Jingpin arrived in Tashkent earlier in the week for bilateral talks with Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected to arrive in Tashkent later on June 23 and travel to Beijing for a two-day diplomatic visit starting on June 24 after the conclusion of the SCO summit.
Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax
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