EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani is slated to attend the 19th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek before traveling to the Tajik capital Dushanbe to take part in the 5th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Rouhani will set off from Tehran on Thursday at the head of a political delegation to participate in the SCO summit scheduled for June 13-14 along with the heads of 11 other member and observer states, ISNA reported.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental association that aims to ensure security and stability across the vast Eurasian region, counteract challenges and threats, and enhance trade, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
It comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan as member states as well as four countries with an observer status, namely Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia and Iran, according to Financial Tribune.
Iran applied for the full membership of SCO in 2008, but was denied admission as it was under the United Nations sanctions at the time.
After the UN embargos were lifted in 2015 thanks to Iran's nuclear deal with the world powers, Tehran resumed the procedures.
Russia backed Iran's bid, arguing that with western sanctions lifted, it could finally become a member of the bloc.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also made his position clear in a joint statement during his visit to Tehran in 2016, saying Beijing would be happy to see Iran play a greater role in SCO and supports its full membership in the organization.
Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Li Huilai also said ahead of the 2017 summit in the Kazakh capital Astana that Beijing "welcomes and supports Iran’s wish to become a formal member of SCO".
Nevertheless, the status has not been enhanced yet, due to "technical nuances related to the timing", according to a special SCO envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin who told reporters during the 2016 summit in Uzbekistan that there were no objections to the idea in principle.
Rouhani will leave Bishkek toward Dushanbe on June 14 to attend the 5th CICA Summit at the invitation of his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon.
CICA is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation toward promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. It has 29 member states, including Iran, as well as seven observer countries. The forum is currently chaired by Tajikistan.
The June 14-15 event is expected to serve as a platform for discussing and resolving Asian problems, as well as for promoting initiatives and finding effective mechanisms at a high level.