China welcomes Iran’s wish to become full member of Shanghai group

BEIJING, March 25 (AP) – (Kyodo)-China welcomes Iran’s wish to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which groups China, Russia and Central Asian nations, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.But Tehran’s wish to be upgraded from observer status still requires discussion by the group, Qin Gang said at a regular press conference.

The organization is considered by some in the region as a counterbalance to influence from the United States.

Iran has participated in SCO meetings in the past as an observer.

The Central Asian nations in the grouping are the former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

March 25 08:53 AM US/Eastern

Source: AP

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