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Iran’s Raisi to attend SCO Summit in Uzbekistan

September 11, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran on July 13, 2022 [Iranian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will be attending the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which will be held in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand on 16 and 17 September.

Raisi will be among 15 heads of states at the summit where bilateral, regional and global issues will be discussed. The event will be the first face-to-face format in three years due to the pandemic and will conclude Uzbekistan’s presidency of the organisation, with India set to assume it until September 2023, where the next summit will also be held.

During this year’s summit, SCO leaders will also sign a memorandum of obligations ahead of Iran’s full membership of the organisation, expected to be finalised by April 2023. Additionally, memorandums will be signed granting dialogue partner status with Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, while the approval of applications for partner status will be extended to Bahrain and the Maldives.

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“We expect [SCO] leaders to sign a memorandum on Iran’s commitments to join the organization, after which Iran would fulfill [its] commitments in accordance with the procedures and complete its accession to the organization,” SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming told TASS on Friday.

“The SCO is currently actively discussing Belarus’s application, and major coordination work is underway on behalf of the Secretariat. We believe there will eventually be consensus,” Ming added.

By joining the Eurasia-spanning organisation, which accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s population and 28 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), Tehran hopes to overcome the US-imposed sanctions and its isolation from the West. In June, Iran also officially submitted its application to join the BRICS group, which includes three members of the SCO: China, Russia and India.