The South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in Southern Asia. In terms of population its sphere of influence is the largest of any regional organization: almost 1.5 billion people, the combined member of its member states.It was established on December 8, 1985 by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. In April 2007, at the Association’s 14th summit, Afghanistan became its 8th member. In April 2006, the United States of America and South Korea made formal requests to be granted observer status. The European Union has also indicated interest in being given observer status and made a formal request for the same to the SAARC Council of Minister meeting in July, 2006.On August 2006 the foreign minister of the SAARC countries agreed in principle to grant observer status to the US, South Korea and the European Union. On 4 March 2007 Iran requested observer status.
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