The SCO foreign ministers agreed to set in train the process of SCO enlargement, accepting India and Pakistan as member states that currently hold the status of observers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters earlier in the day.
He added that the ministers also agreed to raise the status of Iran in the organization once the issue of Tehran’s nuclear program has been settled.
The SCO is a political, economic and military alliance, established in 2001. It comprises Russia, China and Kazakhstan as well as the other Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.