Uzbek FM says Iran to become a SCO member soon

TEHRAN, Jul. 11 (MNA) – Iran to become a member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization this Year, according to Uzbekistan's Foreign Ministry.

"This year, within Uzbekistan's chairmanship, Iran will be admitted to the SCO as an observer state … A memorandum on Iran's obligations as a SCO member will also be signed in Samarkand," Uzbekistan's acting foreign minister, Vladimir Norov, said at a panel meeting in Moscow, Sputnik reported.

Tehran's admission was accepted at the Dushanbe summit last year, when Tajikistan was the Shanghai Pact's rotating chair. However, finalizing that process could take two years.

The SCO was formed in 2001 and today has nine members: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. Together, they account for 40% of the world’s population and 28% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Observer states include Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia.

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari proposed the bloc adopt a universal currency to ease its economic integration.

Tehran also recently applied to join the BRICS group, three of the members of which are also a part of the Shanghai Pact: India, Russia, and China.
Norov added that the SCO had received Belarus' application to join the Eurasian political and economic bloc, and that Minsk's admission procedures could begin at the SCO's September summit in Samarkand.

"To date, the application has been sent to the member countries, and if a joint agreement is reached, I think, it may happen at a summit in Samarkand, which may start Belarus' accession procedure to the SCO," he said.

The Uzbek statement added that it had received Belarus' application to join the Eurasian political and economic bloc, and that Minsk's admission procedures could begin at the SCO's September summit in Samarkand.

According to Sputnik's report, last month, Bakhtiyor Khakimov, Russia's special presidential representative on SCO affairs, said at an SCO meeting in Tashkent that Minsk had "made a request to be admitted promptly" to the group, and Norov noted that 10 nations have applied to join the SCO or be observers or partners.

KI

News Code 188967

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