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Medvedev: No Obstacles to Iran’s SCO Membership

Medvedev: No Obstacles to Iran’s SCO MembershipMedvedev: No Obstacles to Iran’s SCO Membership

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has welcomed Iran’s accession to Shanghai Cooperation Organization, saying Moscow sees no obstacle to Iran’s full membership in the organization.

Speaking at the press conference at the end of the Forum of SCO Prime Ministers in Sochi, he said Iran and Afghanistan have officially applied for membership in SCO while they are present in the organization as observers.

“Earlier, the situation was very complicated due to international issues regarding Iran’s nuclear activities, but now the problems have been resolved,” Medvedev was quoted as saying by IRNA.

“However, decisions to admit new members to the bloc depend on collective consensus,” he said, noting that for the same reason, the membership of India and Pakistan took a long time.

In a meeting with Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri on Nov. 30, Medvedev welcomed Iran’s accession to SCO, stressing that Moscow sees no hurdle in Iran’s joining the bloc as a main member.

The 16th Forum of SCO Prime Ministers was held on Dec. 1 in the Russian port city of Sochi.

SCO is an intergovernmental organization founded by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001 to promote multilateral cooperation in the fields of security, economy and culture. Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Belarus joined the entity as observer members.

Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and India are current members of SCO.

Jahangiri also met with United Nations Undersecretary-General Shamshad Akhtar in Sochi on Friday, discussing bilateral relations and Iran’s intention to join SCO.

Jahangiri and Akhtar, who is also executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, reiterated the advantages of Iran’s membership in SCO.

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