Shanghai Club, Once Obscure, Now Attracts Wide Interest – Howard French

From the New York Times:

The group’s fortunes have also risen with booming global markets, because it unites one of the world’s largest and fastest growing energy , China, with several of the largest producers. The of the global energy market have proved a powerful draw to many outsiders as well, from Iran to India and Pakistan, which are attending the meeting as observers. …

The attendance of Iran, which is in a diplomatic confrontation with the over suspicions that it is developing nuclear weapons, highlights a predicament for the organization. …

With Iran pressing for membership, Chinese officials and those from other nations have also made clear that they are not ready to consider expanding the organization. But, a “contact group” has been formed to explore observer status for Afghanistan, whose president, Hamid Karzai , was expected to attend the meeting as a special guest. [Full Text]

See also Foreign Ministry’s briefing about SCO summit; Interfax’s Interview with Russian presidential envoy; VOA’s “Rumsfeld Expresses Doubts About Iran’s Role in Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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