Iran, Russia discuss regional development, SCO membership

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanayee and Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bakhtier Khakimov in a meeting in Moscow on Friday discussed regional developments and Iran’s membership at the SCO.

During the meeting in the Russian capital today, the Russian envoy pointed to Iran’s status as well as political and economic capacities, and expressed the hope that the SCO could play a more effective role in the regional and international equations following the Islamic Republic’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Iranian ambassador, for his part, pointed to Iran’s active participation in all SCO meetings, and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s membership in the SCO will strengthen the organization and also pave the way for further activities of the SCO at regional and international levels.”

In March, a senior Russian official announced that his country was throwing its weight behind Iran’s membership at the SCO.

“The SCO will benefit from the full membership of Iran,” Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Nabiyevich Kabulov said.

Kabulov also expressed the hope that during the upcoming SCO summit in his country serious political decisions will be made to start the admission process of Iran.

Russia says it will host the next summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the city of Ufa in July 2015.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in February that the criteria for adding new members to the SCO were approved during the 2014 summit in Tajikistan and that more applications for membership will be reviewed.

The SCO is an intergovernmental organization which seeks to strengthen mutual trust and good-neighborliness between the member countries; facilitate their effective cooperation in political, trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural areas as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection; joint maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region; towards the creation of a democratic, just and rational international political and economic order.

It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Iran, along with four other countries, currently holds observer status in the organization.

By Fars News Agency