On Wednesday night, Iran signed a memorandum of commitments in the path to fully join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
They were signed between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
“Tonight, in the historical city of Samarkand, I signed the memorandum of commitments of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permanent membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with the secretary-general,” Amir Abdollahian tweeted.
“Now, we have entered a new stage of diverse economic, commercial, transit, energy, and… cooperation,” he added.
The SCO secretary general praised Iran’s steps to join the bloc, saying, “Today is an important and determining day for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, thereby I congratulate Iranian friends and colleagues and also my colleagues in the organization.”
Zhang added Iran as a stable, secure and powerful country is important for the SCO. He also said Iran’s accession to the SCO will strengthen the organization.
The commitments were signed before the SCO summit officially begins in Uzbekistan, the current chair of the organization.
Amir Abdollahian is accompanying President Raisi who flew to Samarkand, the venue of the summit.
The summit, which officially began on Thursday and lasts until Friday, brings certain heads of states, including the Chinese and Russian leaders.
Iran and the organization started a formal process for Tehran’s accession to the bloc in March. Iran’s membership in the body was later approved by the Iranian administration. On Wednesday, government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said the draft legislation outlining Iran’s membership in the organization had been submitted to the Iranian parliament for approval.
The SCO was initially founded by China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan in 2001. Currently it has eight official members, including Pakistan and India. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia have an observer status, and six countries — Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka — have a dialogue partner status.
The main goals of the SCO are strengthening mutual confidence and good-neighborly relations among the member countries; promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade and economy, science and technology, culture as well as education, energy, transportation, tourism, environmental protection and other fields; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region, moving towards the establishment of a new, democratic, just and rational political and economic international order.
It also pursues its internal policy based on the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equal rights, consultations, respect for the diversity of cultures and aspiration towards common development. Its external policy is also conducted in accordance with the principles of non-alignment, non-targeting anyone and openness.