The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) National Centre for Public Diplomacy in Russia was presented in Moscow on Friday, 30 June, according to the Russian Embassy in China.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as representatives of member states' diplomatic missions, observers and SCO dialogue partners attended the event, as reported by TASS.
The Russian foreign minister said that several important decisions will be announced at the Council of the heads of states of the organization on 4 July. These include the full-scale admission of Iran to the SCO and the signing of a memorandum on the commitment of Belarus to join the organization. Lavrov noted that the latter event will also launch the procedure for Belarus' accession to the SCO.
He added that the organization appreciates its new dialogue partners.
"From now on, the SCO space, including both new members and dialogue partner states, extends from Europe and the Middle East to South and South-East Asia"
Sergei Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister
Moreover, the Russian foreign minister said that additional applications from interested states were still being considered.
The SCO National Center for Public Diplomacy should promote implementation of the Russian foreign policy line aimed at strengthening of the organisation as well as deepening of friendship, mutual understanding and mutual respect for cultural and civilisational diversity among peoples of member countries.
The organisation currently includes eight countries: its founders Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as India and Pakistan, which joined in 2017. In 2023, the SCO will be chaired by India.