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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Turkish PM Erdogan pleads with Putin for entry into "Shanghai Five"

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has reopened the debate on Turkey's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to give Ankara a seat to avoid "the troubles" of accession to the European Union.

Responding to a question over Ukraine's recent decision to halt a trade pact with the EU at a joint press conference with Erdogan in St. Petersburg, Putin said the issue had no political dimension and that it would learn from Turkey's EU experiences, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

"We will ask Turkey what we can do. Turkey has great experience in EU talks," Putin said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

SCO members include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Erdogan said he had conveyed Turkey's membership request to Putin before.

Turkey became the first NATO member state to become a "dialogue partner" with the regional body - known as the Shanghai Five - in April. Turkey said the cooperation would strengthen its ties with the organization, primarily in the areas of the economy and transportation.