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04 March 2024, 13:03

Lukashenko counts on Kazakhstan’s  support for Belarus’ SCO membership plans

MINSK, 4 March (BelTA) – Belarus hopes that Kazakhstan will support Belarus’ aspirations to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the summer, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Belarus Yerlan Baizhanov in Minsk on 4 March, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that Kazakhstan currently chairs the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). “We know that in February you ratified all the documents needed for Belarus’ membership in the SCO. We really appreciate it,” the president of Belarus said.

He noted that in line with preliminary plans, the next SCO summit is to be held in Astana in July 2024. “It would be very symbolic and gratifying if Belarus becomes a full-fledged member of the SCO during its summit in Astana. We will ask you to help us with this. Naturally, a lot depends on the presiding party. And our Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to take it up a notch,” said the Belarusian leader.

Earlier, in an interview with BelTA, SCO Deputy Secretary General Nurlan Yermekbayev said that there were all the grounds for Belarus to become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the near future. “We all hope, and there is every reason for that, that in the near future the Republic of Belarus will become a full-fledged member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In fact, Belarus is not a newcomer to the SCO. It has been an observer state for a long time, and during this period it has been just as active and involved as the member states of the organization, making various good proposals and initiatives. That is why all SCO member states unanimously supported Belarus’ desire to become a full member,” the SCO deputy secretary general said.

Answering a clarifying question whether Belarus would be able to officially join the organization at the upcoming SCO summit in Astana in the summer of 2024, SCO deputy secretary general answered in the affirmative: “We hope that a decision to accept Belarus as a full member will be made at the upcoming SCO summit in Kazakhstan (the exact dates will be known later, the event is usually held in June-July).”
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