Belarus to join SCO in near future - PM
MINSK. Nov 1 (Interfax) - Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko has said he is confident that Belarus will become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) "in the near future."
"The role played by the organization [the SCO] and the desire of other countries to cooperate with it keeps growing. And it stands to reason that the Republic of Belarus is seeking to become, and I am sure will become, a full member of the Shanghai family, owing to its support from other states," Golovchenko said at a meeting of the SCO heads of government on Tuesday.
Belarus particularly values "the unanimity of the SCO participants' views and their ability to make well thought-out, future-oriented, and coordinated decisions amid global turbulence," he said.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier that the country expected to become an SCO member in 2023.
The decision to begin Belarus' accession to the SCO was made at the SCO summit in Samarkand on September 15-16. Belarus, which currently has observer status in the organization, applied for membership earlier.
Founded in 2001, the SCO is an international organization comprised of India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are observers, and Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are partners.