China and Russia-led bloc backs Iran’s future membership

SpaceWar.com reports: “Members of the China and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Friday endorsed Iran’s future membership of the bloc that already includes South Asian rivals India and Pakistan.

The move comes as Moscow and Beijing have moved to assert themselves as key players in the region, after the United States’ hasty retreat from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

‘Today we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a member of the SCO,’ said Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking via video link from China in comments translated into English.

The organisation, which seeks to combat ethnic separatism, religious extremism and terrorism in Central Asia, is holding a summit in Tajikistan this week.

Iran’s membership was welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who were attending the summit virtually, and Pakistani premier Imran Khan, who was at the summit in person…”

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