TEHRAN – Addressing the 22nd summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran stated that “maximum interaction and unity” with the countries of the region, including the SCO members, and effective involvement in regional and international arrangements, are at the focus of foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Iran’s attention to important arrangements such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS shows our interest in participating in the efforts of aligned countries to establish a fair, transcendent and partnership-based international system. These approaches, along with the broad capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, speed up and facilitate the future movement of the Shanghai Organization,” Raisi stated.
The President described the signing of the memorandum of commitments by Iran and its membership in the SCO as an important step in the field of regional and international politics by the Islamic Republic.
“Certainly, with the active and effective presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, this membership will be recorded as one of the most important developments in the history of this organization”.
Following is the full text of Raisi’s speech at the SCO meeting:
First of all, I would like to express my pleasure to be in the beautiful and historical city of Samarkand.
I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the honorable President of Uzbekistan, the government and the people of this country for their warm welcome and sincere hospitality and for holding this meeting well.
Samarkand, Bukhara and Khwarazm have been magnificent and culture-creating cities that always shine like shining stars in Persian civilization and poetry. Our greatest capacity for peace-making is our civilizational capacity. Now that this old continent has risen again, it must once again become a civilization. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is the symbol of this “great civilization family”, now stands in a position that can build new horizons of regional integration and security-building cooperation based on characteristics such as justice, spirituality and respect for human dignity.
“Maximum interaction and unity” with the countries of the region, including the member countries of the Shanghai Organization, and effective presence in regional and international arrangements, are the focus of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In addition to playing a role in ensuring stability and security in the region, especially in dealing with takfiri terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking and other forms of international organized crime, as well as hosting millions of refugees from neighboring countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategy has “deepening economic multilateralism” on its agenda.
The attention of the Islamic Republic of Iran to important arrangements such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS shows our interest in participating in the efforts of aligned countries to establish a just, transcendent and partnership-based international system. These approaches, along with the broad capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, speed up and facilitate the future movement of the Shanghai Organization.
In recent years, economic and political multilateralism has been seriously threatened, and the American government is trying to impose its internal demands and laws on the international community and countries with sovereignty and independence with all its bullying, and has put the extensive use of “coercion” on its agenda. Undoubtedly, American unilateralism seeks to hold countries back from their independent development path.
In dealing with unilateralism and oppressive sanctions, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization needs to adopt new solutions and special measures; One of them is the formation of sustainable trade among the members of this Organization, which itself requires the joint development of infrastructure in the field of financial exchanges, commodity exchanges and data exchange between countries.
Following international developments, member countries have turned to trade with each other more than in the past. This opportunity has arisen in a situation where infrastructural weaknesses can prevent the rapid development of trade between members. To overcome this challenge, in the field of financial infrastructure, it is necessary to prioritize the financing of logistics and trade facilitation projects.
In this regard, the mechanism of “Interbank Exchanges” and “Shanghai Cooperation Organization Financing” can play an important role. In addition, acceleration in concluding free trade agreements and customs cooperation will play an important role in facilitating trade in the region.
Along with financial-banking cooperation, I would like to highlight the important areas of transportation and energy security as two key and important areas for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Despite the impressive potential, infrastructural connections in the field of transit between the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are not so extensive. Iran gives special priority to the development of the North-South Corridor and has made huge investments.
Iran’s transit capacities serve to strengthen transportation in SCO
In addition, the China-Central Asia-West Asia-Mediterranean Sea Corridor, which has high potential, is currently described an “important part of the solution” for the development of trade between East and West Eurasia. With the cooperation of the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, it is possible to provide the necessary grounds for the implementation of this corridor and for the members to benefit from its advantages.
Shaping “sustainable transit” requires multilateral cooperation of members in the development of hard and soft infrastructure. The joint financing of the infrastructure of the North-South Corridor, as well as the China-West Asia-Mediterranean Sea Corridor and joint role in their implementation and management can be proposed as a solution in the form of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
I would like to announce that the transport and transit network of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as our port capacities in the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Oman Sea, and the Indian Ocean, serve to strengthen transportation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Also, considering the importance of health in today’s world and the place of health diplomacy in the synergy of governments in serving the nations, the Islamic Republic announces its readiness to host the Shanghai Health Sector Cooperation Secretariat and hereby it invites the ministers of the member countries to hold the first meeting of the Shanghai health sector in December of this year.
Iran ready to host SCO Health Sector Cooperation Secretariat
The owners of the world’s largest energy reserves are present in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization along with the major energy consuming economies. Other member countries also have great advantages of energy transit between production centers and consumption centers. This combination is prone to the formation of diverse and effective cooperation in the field of energy. Cooperation in areas such as the establishment of the electricity markets of the Shanghai Organization and their connection with other electricity networks of the electricity market region being established in the ECO Organization, as well as cooperation in meeting the oil and gas needs of the member countries, are among the notable cases.
Undoubtedly, convergence in the field of energy in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will contribute significantly to further economic development and ultimately to the reduction of security and economic costs and stability in the region and beyond. The Islamic Republic of Iran, benefiting from its unique capacities such as 1) proximity to the world’s two largest oil and hydrocarbon fields, that is the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, 2) the oil and gas transportation network and a suitable transit location, and 3) expert manpower, is ready to play an effective role in this area and in order to solve the concerns of the members in ensuring the security of energy supply.
During the past few decades, our region has tasted the bitter taste of foreign intervention and the result has been nothing but the creation of terrorism and the spread of insecurity. The result is the situation we are currently facing in Afghanistan. Not only has America not learned from its failure in Afghanistan, but it continues to spread the policy of spreading insecurity and intervention to other regions of Asia.
The new security model in Asia should be formed on the basis of “joint development and deepening of multilateralism without the interference of foreign powers” so that collective measures can be implemented to deal with the challenges facing peace and development.
The Islamic Republic, as a country that has rich ideological and cultural foundations against extremism and takfiri terrorism, and has also successfully proven its capability and efficiency in this direction, believes that the production of international norms and regulations in the fight against terrorism should not be done by countries that breed terrorism themselves. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the only solution for sustainable peace in Afghanistan is the formation of an inclusive government that is the result of authentic intra-Afghan dialogues with the participation of all groups, ethnicities and religions.
The establishment of peace, stability and security in the Caucasus region is very important for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Experiences like Afghanistan and Syria should be a lesson and should be avoided. Pursuing NATO policies in any way poses a threat to different regions. The establishment of peace, stability and security in the Caucasus region is very important for the Islamic Republic of Iran. We have always emphasized respecting territorial integrity, national sovereignty and rejecting any change in the recognized borders between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia. The parties should resolve their differences through dialogue and peacefully based on international law.
As the Islamic Republic of Iran protects its national interests and security and the region, it also declares its readiness to help resolve the disagreements between these two neighboring countries.
Signing the memorandum of commitments of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this meeting and becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an important step in the field of regional and international politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Certainly, with the active and effective presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, this membership will be recorded as one of the most important developments in the history of this Organization.
I ask God for success for this important meeting and prosperity and well-being for the nations of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
At the end of my speech, I feel it necessary to once again express my and my nation’s sympathy with the people and government of Pakistan regarding the recent flood in this country.
Also, I sincerely thank the efforts of the President and the officials of Uzbekistan for the successful holding of this meeting.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/476781/Raisi-tells-SCO-summit-Iran-is-ready-to-ensure-energy-security