Thursday, June 13, 2024

China announces readiness to boost military cooperation with Iran

China will continue to strengthen the security cooperation mechanism with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries and deepen defense collaboration with Iran and Belarus, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu has said.

“We will continue to strengthen the mechanism of security cooperation within the SCO, actively deepen defense collaboration with the organization’s newest member Iran, as well as Belarus, which will soon become a SCO member,” TASS news agency quoted Li as saying.

The Chinese defense minister added that Beijing is also prepared to hold joint drills with other countries and boost international cooperation on arms control.

“Beijing is ready to hold joint military drills and exercises with all countries, as well as find a larger space to hold drills and strengthen international cooperation in the field of arms control and non-proliferation [of nuclear weapons],” Li stressed.

The SCO was founded on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai. At first, the organization consisted of six countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and was joined in 2017 by India and Pakistan. It was announced at the summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State that was held virtually in India in July that Iran joined the group. Also, Belarus signed a memorandum of commitment, which set off the procedure for acquiring full membership in the organization.

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