Uzbekistan's historic capital is set to host a two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit beginning Thursday, which will be attended by heads of state and observers.
Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will host a multi-national gathering of eight nations, including China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and India, in Samarkand, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to attend the summit, which will be the biggest in its history, since Türkiye is a dialogue partner of the SCO, along with Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Armenia. While Iran is likely to be accepted as a new member during the summit.
Founded on June 15, 2001, Türkiye became a dialogue partner of the SCO in 2012.
Samarkand, the country's second-largest city, is located on the historic Great Silk Road route and is home to over a thousand cultural sites that show its deep-rooted history dating back to the 8th century BC.
The country will host the summit for the fourth time, at a facility considered a tourism hub on a 400-hectare site recently developed on Silk Road in Samarkand. The largest congress center in the Commonwealth of Independent States is made up of 13 conference halls and has a closed space of 18,000 square meters with seats for 3,500 people.
The government has called in additional security forces and law enforcement from other parts of the country to beef up security for the event. Owing to the high level of security, the general public and transportation will be rerouted. Educational institutions will be closed for two days as well.
From Sept. 14 to 16, the airport will be closed to all flights except those attending the summit.