Turkey, Russia, Iran, China demonstrate growing ties at SCO summit - analyst

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) latest summit displayed the rise of Turkey, Iran, China and Russia, as an emerging bloc of countries, analyst Seth Frantzman wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Saturday.

The summit signalled China’s concerns on new conflicts in the region undermining its agenda, but other SCO members and dialogue partners of the forum, including Turkey, are pushing for more influence and ready to use conflicts to gain an upper hand, according to the analyst.

Founded in 2001 as the “Shanghai Five,” comprising China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, the SCO has effectively become the core of a China- and Russia-led anti-Western bloc. This year, Turkey was invited to participate in the summit at the presidential level for the first time since 2012, when Ankara obtained the SCO dialogue partner status.

“...The goal of China is for the SCO to play a larger role in the emerging multipolar world, meaning the SCO will balance the role of the US and the West,” Frantzman wrote.

At the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared weakened by Russia’s recent military losses in Ukraine, appearing even less influential than Erdogan, according to the analyst.

On Friday at the SCO summit, Erdoğan said Turkey was exerting diplomatic efforts to end the Russia-Ukraine war as soon as possible while holding meetings with Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the event, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Turkish leader highlighted the importance Ankara attached to enhancing its relations with the SCO, while expressing gratitude for  its “dialogue partner” status for the last decade and vowing to strengthen its relations with Asia.

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