EghtesadOnline: Iran’s attention to important arrangements such as the SCO shows its interest in participating in the efforts of aligned countries to establish a just, transcendent and partnership-based international system, Raisi said.
President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran’s active and effective presence in the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will certainly make its membership one of the most important developments in the history of this Eurasian alliance.
Addressing the 22nd Summit of the SCO on Friday, he also noted that the Islamic Republic’s membership in the organization is an important step in the country’s regional and international politics, President.ir reported.
Iran had applied for membership in the alliance and its candidacy was approved at a summit in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe last September.
During the latest assembly in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, the Islamic Republic signed its memorandum of commitments and its full membership is expected to become effective in April 2023.
In his speech, Raisi called the SCO a symbol of the great central Asian civilization family which stands in a position to build new horizons of regional integration and security-building cooperation.
He also said Iran’s attention to such important arrangements shows its interest in participating in the efforts of aligned countries to establish “a just, transcendent and partnership-based international system.”
The president stressed the need for new solutions and special measures by the SCO to deal with unilateralism and oppressive sanctions.
“One of them is the formation of sustainable trade among the members of this organization,” he said.
Infrastructural weaknesses can prevent the rapid development of trade between members, Raisi said, calling for prioritization of logistics financing and trade facilitation projects to overcome this challenge.
“In this regard, the mechanism of ‘Interbank Exchanges’ and ‘Shanghai Cooperation Organization Financing’ can play an important role,” he said.
The president highlighted transportation and energy security as two key and important areas for the SCO.
He regretted the lack of infrastructural transit connections between member states despite the great potential, highlighting the important role of transit corridors to address this shortcoming.
“The joint financing of infrastructure [projects] and joint role in their implementation and management can be proposed as a solution in the form of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” he said.
Iran’s transport and transit network, as well as its port capacities serve to strengthen transportation within the organization, Raisi added.
The president also announced Iran’s readiness to host the Shanghai Health Sector Cooperation Secretariat and invited the ministers of member countries to hold its first meeting in December of this year.
Raisi pointed to the SCO’s potential for cooperation in the energy sector, saying it would contribute significantly to further economic development and the reduction of security and economic costs and stability in the region and beyond.
He also expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to play an effective role in solving the concerns of the members in ensuring the security of energy supply.
The president pointed to foreign intervention, saying it has had no outcome but the creation of terrorism and spread of insecurity.
The new security model in Asia should, therefore, be formed on the basis of “joint development and deepening of multilateralism without the interference of foreign powers,” he said.
Raisi also held meetings with a number of leaders from participating countries during his three-day stay, including his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, where they expressed satisfaction with the significant progress in bilateral relations in various sectors.
Putin applauded the significant increase in the volume of trade between the two countries over the past year.
Raisi also said the relationship between countries that are sanctioned by the US, such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can help overcome many problems and make them stronger.
Raisi met China’s President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the event and appreciated Beijing’s constructive role in the process of Iran’s SCO membership.
He said the 25-year comprehensive strategic cooperation program is a sign of the two country’s determination for the development of bilateral relations.
Xi said Iran-China relations are strategic relations and will continue to develop regardless of any international development.
In a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Raisi described the development of interactions with the subcontinent as one of the priorities of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy.
Modi pointed to the key role of Chabahar Port in the transportation of goods in the region, calling for Tehran-Delhi cooperation with regard to Afghanistan on which both countries hold similar positions.
The presidents of Iran and Turkey, also met in Samarkand and reviewed the agreements made during the latter’s recent visit to Tehran, as well as holding the 7th Supreme Council of Economic Cooperation.
They also discussed the developments in the region, including those in Syria, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus.
Raisi also sat with leaders from Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Belarus during his stay in the Uzbek capital.