Saudi joins Shanghai Cooperation Organization, inches closer to China

Riyadh, Mar 29 (EFE).- The Saudi cabinet Wednesday approved a decision for the Arab country to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a bloc formed by Russia and China as a counterweight to the United States’ influence in Asia.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency said the cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Al Salam Palace in the city of Jeddah, approved a memorandum on granting the kingdom the status of a dialogue partner in the SCO,

Being a dialogue partner in the political and economic bloc of countries in Eurasia, which include China, India, Pakistan, and Russia, is the first step before a country gets full membership.

China and Russia formed the grouping in 2001. Since then, the SCO has focused primarily on regional security issues, the fight against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism.

The bloc is also seen as a counterweight to the influence of the US and its western allies in Asia.

Saudi Arabia is inching closer to China, and their closer-than-ever ties got reflected in Beijing’s role in restoring relations between Riyadh and Tehran, which broke off seven years ago. EFE


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