Iran and Belarus to be new SCO members

Source: The post is based on the article “Iran and Belarus to be new SCO members” published in The Hindu on 16th July 2022

What is the News?

Iran and Belarus are likely to be the two newest members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) grouping.

What is Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO)?

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Members of SCO:

China, Russia and four Central Asian states — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and 

Tajikistan — were the founding member of the SCO while India and Pakistan joined the SCO in 2017.

In the 2021 SCO summit in Dushanbe, the members of SCO agreed to admit Iran as a member while Belarus has also begun the membership process.

What is the reason behind the expansion of SCO?

China and Russia are looking to frame the SCO as a counter to the West — particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moreover, China has also drawn a sharp contrast between SCO and NATO. It said that SCO is a cooperative organization based on non-alignment and not targeting a third party. On the other hand, NATO is based on Cold War thinking. The logic of NATO is to create new enemies to sustain its own existence.

What are the upcoming summits of SCO?

The 2022 annual summit of the SCO will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

The 2023 SCO summit will be hosted by India.

Note: Varanasi has been selected as the SCO region’s first “Tourism and Cultural Capital”.

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