Publish: 30 Jun 2023, 07:00 pm
Iran will be formally approved as a member of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with China, Russia and Central Asian countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday, reports AFP.
"At the meeting of heads of state on July 4, the full membership of Iran will be approved," Lavrov said at the opening of an SCO centre in Moscow.
Iran has intensified its diplomacy with friends and foes alike in recent months, seeking to reduce its isolation, improve its economy and project strength.
SCO membership was already on the cards and Iran is also hoping to be quickly accepted into another grouping that excludes Western countries -- the BRICS group with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The SCO, which has its headquarters in China, is a diplomatic organisation with eight members, including India and Pakistan.
Kremlin ally Belarus is also applying to join, and Lavrov said Friday that next week's virtual summit would "begin the procedure" for that membership to go ahead.
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