Sep 16, 2021, 11:53 AM
Journalist ID: 1195
News Code: 84472834
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SCO summit good opportunity to expand ties

 Tehran, IRNA - Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Tajikistan aimed at participating in the 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, which seems to be a proper opportunity to pave the ground for bolstering regional cooperation.

The 2021 SCO summit is going to be held on September 16-17 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which is playing the role of rotating chair of the SCO.

President Raisi, heading a diplomatic delegation, will meet the heads of member states the organization.

China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan

It is worth mentioning that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an effective regional and intra-state organization, which was established by leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001 in a bid to enhance security, economic and cultural cooperation.

The main objective of formation of the organization has been creating balance of power in dealing with the influence of the US and NATO in Asia. Despite the fact that the organization is not considered as a defense consortium, it has played an effective role in many regional and international developments.

The SCO consists of eight permanent member states, including China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan. Four states of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are still observer members and six countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

Given the current situation in Afghanistan, it is expected that the issue of the war-torn country will be one of the most important topics of this round of talks of the SCO.

One of the main topics of this year's summit may be Iran's application for membership. The Islamic Republic has been accepted as an observer member since 2005. Now, there are positive signals that Iran's position might change in the 2021 summit.

Bakhtiar Khakimov , the Russian president's special envoy for the SCO, told TASS News Agency a few days ago that Moscow expects heads of member states of the organization to make a decision on Iran's membership in Tajikistan's summit.

Tajikistan's ambassador to Iran, Nizamuddin Zahedi, said that Tajik president raised the issue of Iran's membership, but all other member states should express their consent and accept the issue.

The permanent membership of Iran in the SCO is a privilege and good opportunity for both sides. The change of position will indicate Iranians' pragmatic strategy when it comes to Tehran's foreign policy in dealing with the East. On the other hand, the member states of the organization are producing and consuming around one fourth of energy in the world; so, they have the ability to disrupt US-dominated unipolar system and create balance of power, which will add up to Iran's political weight in the globe.

The membership will be beneficial for the Islamic Republic to expand political, economic, security, banking, energy and cultural ties with other member states of the SCO.

This is the first time that a newly-elected president from Iran takes part in an annual summit of the SCO in order to pursue Iranian national interest. Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that President Raisi is going to hold talks with some high-ranking officials on the sidelines of the summit.

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