SCO could admit new members in June - official
13/ 04/ 2006
BEIJING, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will likely consider admitting new members during its summit in June, the organization's secretary-general said Thursday.
Zhang Deguang said the summit, which starts June 15, would consider applications for full membership from countries that currently hold observer status in the organization.
The SCO is a regional security forum founded in Shanghai in July 2001 by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and China.
India, Pakistan, and Iran joined the organization as observers in 2005, following Mongolia's accession also as an observer the previous year.
Zhang said SCO defense ministers would meet in Beijing at the end of April to discuss future joint military exercises. He added that there were no plans to form a military bloc based on the organization.
"I am sure that a military bloc will not be formed," he said.