Iran has signed a memorandum of accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its annual summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The news was reported by the publication CentralAsia on Sep. 15.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by the head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry and SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming, who called the signing important for both Iran and the organization.
The decision that Iran would be joining the SCO became known in September 2021. The then president, Ibrahim Raisi, said that membership of the organization would be a “diplomatic success” for Iran. In his opinion, Tehran’s joining the SCO will create strong economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region.
The main objective of the SCO is to build confidence in military agreements and to reduce the presence of armed forces at border areas. It was founded back in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became full members in 2017.
It is expected that Iranian representatives can become full members of the SCO by 2022. The SCO’s annual meeting will be held in India next year.
However, even Vladimir Putin is present at the current meeting, which is taking place on September 15-16. According to The Telegraph, he has already arrived in Samarkand on a personal visit. This is his first visit in person in three years.
This is probably due to the fact that Russia is desperately seeking support from Asian countries due to the fact that its economy is struggling under the pressure of sanctions imposed by Europe and the U.S. due to its invasion of Ukraine.
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