Turkey will chair the Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2017, making it the first non-member country to do so.
Turkey's nomination comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted recently that his country would consider joining the non-Western body if the EU doesn’t decide on Turkey’s accession process soon, according to the agency.
Turkey had proposed that all the SCO partner countries should take turns in presiding the Energy Club for a year. The proposal was then accepted and Turkey was unanimously elected to chair the Energy Club in 2017.
Turkey has been associated with the SCO for the last five years. It applied for “dialogue partnership” in SCO in 2011 and its status was approved in June 2012 at the SCO Heads of State Summit in Beijing.
The SCO was established in 2001. The SCO members now are China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Turkey, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.