Presided over by Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations took place in Dushanbe on July 13-14. 

On July 14, the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers decided to give Saudi Arabia and Egypt a status of dialogue partner within the Organization.  

Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin announced this today at a news conference following the SCO-CFM meeting.  

Muhriddin called the attraction of new dialogue partners to the SCO a historic decision.  

“During the meeting we exchanged views on the expansion of the institution of dialogue partners within the SCO and after a six-year hiatus, we made a historic decision to give dialogue partner status to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  This decision will be submitted for consideration to the SCO heads of state summit that will take place in Dushanbe in September,” the minister said. 

The decision to give the dialogue partner status to Saudi Arabia has been made amid rumors that its regional rival Iran will be given the status of full member of the SCO at the SCO heads of state summit that will take place in the Tajik September in September this year.   

Meanwhile the Tajik MFA information department says SCO-CFM meeting took place on July 13-14 and its participants discussed the achievements of the Organization as it celebrates the 20th Anniversary of its formation this year.

SCO foreign ministers reportedly also assessed the preparation for the upcoming SCO Council of Heads of State that will take place in Dushanbe from September 16-17 this year and exchanged views on current international and regional issues. 

CFM members also exchanged views on expanding the composition of the institution of dialogue partners within the SCO.  

The SCO Council of Foreign Minister (CFM) is the highest forum of the SCO after the Council of Heads of State (CHS) and the Council of Heads of Government (CHG).  It deliberates on important regional and international issues and considers documents for approval and adoption by the CHS.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has eight full members -- China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.  ACEAN, CIS, Turkmenistan and the United Nations are guest attendances.

The SCO now represents around 42% of the world’s population, 22% of its land area and around 20% of GDP.