News ID: 112973
Published: 0614 GMT March 02, 2015

‘Russia backs Iran membership of SCO’

‘Russia backs Iran membership of SCO’

A senior Russian official says his country throws its weight behind Iran’s “beneficial” membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Zamir Nabiyevich Kabulov told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency that the SCO will benefit from the full membership of Iran, Pakistan and India in its current composition.

The Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan also expressed hope that during the upcoming SCO summit in his country, “serious political decisions will be made to start the admission process” of the trio.

Russia says it will host the next summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the city of Ufa in July 2015.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last month that the criteria for adding new members to the SCO were approved during the 2014 summit in Tajikistan and that more applications for membership will be reviewed.

The SCO is an intergovernmental organization which seeks to strengthen mutual trust and good-neighborliness between the member countries; facilitate their effective cooperation in political, trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural areas as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection; joint maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region; towards the creation of a democratic, just and rational international political and economic order.

It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Iran, along with four other countries, currently holds observer status in the organization.

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