Saudi Arabia Set To Join Anti-West Bloc With China And Russia

Saudi Arabia is joining an anti-Western influence bloc formed by Russia and China, in a sign of Riyadh’s deepening ties with Beijing as the US pivots away from the Middle East.

The kingdom’s cabinet approved a plan to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a “dialogue partner”, a precursor to being granted full membership, SPA, the Saudis’ state news agency, announced on Wednesday.

Formed in 2001 by Russia, China and former Soviet states in Central Asia, the SCO is a political and security bloc of countries spanning much of Eurasia and has expanded to include India and Pakistan, with a view to challenging Western influence in the region.

Iran also signed documents for full membership last year.

The SCO holds an annual summit to discuss economic cooperation and mutual security, often focusing on terrorism, separatism and extremism, though divergent interests limit the group’s effectiveness. Member states are planning a “counter-terrorism exercise” in Russia this August, though the SCO is not a military alliance. (Read more from “Saudi Arabia Set To Join Anti-West Bloc With China And Russia” HERE)

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