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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit to Begin

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit to Begin

SCO
Photo: Council on Foreign Relations

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)—a Eurasian political, economic, and security pact—will convene today in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

In today’s meeting, the SCO member-states will underline the necessity of building ties by increasing cooperation in joint security and commerce. While the main agenda of the two-day summit will revolve around the recent developments in Afghanistan—which currently has observer-nation status in the SCO—additional matters such as Iran’s admittance into the alliance will also be discussed.

Expect military drills and defense agreements including arms sales to increase within the member states during the short-to medium-term. While advocating for Iran to obtain full membership in the organization, China and Russia—the organization’s founders and heavyweights—will likely enhance their military presence in Central Asia to further protect their regional interests. In this context, Moscow will likely increase its troops and weapons in its military basis in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan while Beijing will likely develop its military post in Tajikistan to further secure its investments under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. In Addition, the common strategy of Moscow and Beijing will likely be to further develop the organization during the long-term to rival NATO’s regional missions.

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