December 8, 2022

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Iran to sign SCO commitments in next summit: Uzbekistan

TEHRAN – A senior Uzbek diplomat has said that Iran will sign an obligations document for its membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The Uzbek acting foreign minister, Vladimir Norov, said on Friday that planning is underway for Iran to sign the document needed for its full membership in the SCO in the next summit of the organization, which will be held soon, according to a Fars News report. 

Norov said the annual SCO summit would be held on 15-16 September.

“It is also expected that the memorandum granting the status of dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will also be signed. In this way, the legal registration of their presence in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is completed in the mentioned format,” he added. 

He made the remarks after a meeting of SCO foreign ministers held in Tashkent. 

“The foreign ministers welcomed the requests of Bahrain and the Maldives to receive the status of dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The relevant decisions will be signed within the framework of the meeting of the Council of Presidents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the city of Samarkand,” Norov said. “The parties are also actively considering Belarus’ request for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

He noted, “In the framework of the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, opinions were exchanged regarding the preparations for the important event – the meeting of the Council of Presidents of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which will be held on September 15 and 16, 2022 in the city of Samarkand. The foreign ministers coordinated a large package of documents for the upcoming meeting of the Council of Presidents.”

He said these documents included the draft Samarkand statement, a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the Good Neighbor Agreement, friendship and long-term cooperation, the theory of cooperation for the development of interconnection and the creation of effective transportation corridors, the program of encouraging industrial cooperation, and the regulations for the honorary title of “Goodwill Ambassador of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

He continued, “We also examined the way and prospects of expanding mutual cooperation in all aspects of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s activity and exchanged opinions on the issues of the regional and global agenda.”

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed hope that Iran would become a full member of the SCO in September. Amir Abdollahian expressed hope that in its September meeting, the SCO would review Iran’s application.

“We hope that in the September meeting of the organization, we will enter into the implementation and practical stages of using the benefits of Iran’s permanent membership in this organization,” Amir Abdollahian stated. 

Similarly, on Iran’s membership process in BRICS +, he noted that the Islamic Republic is one of the first countries that is going to become a member of BRICS +.

BRICS includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Norov stated on July 11 at a panel meeting in Moscow that “this year, under Uzbekistan’s chairmanship, Iran will become a full-fledged member of the SCO as an observer state.”

“In addition, in Samarkand, a memorandum on Iran’s obligations as an SCO member will be signed,” Norov continued.

The SCO was formed in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan at a summit in Shanghai. The Shanghai Five mechanism came before it.

China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are the current full members of the SCO.

Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia are also observer countries.

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