Iran’s SCO Admission Likely to Be Decided at Dushanbe Summit

Iran’s SCO Admission Likely to Be Decided at Dushanbe Summit
Iran’s SCO Admission Likely to Be Decided at Dushanbe Summit

Moscow expects that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s leaders will decide on the start of Tehran’s admission to the organization at the Dushanbe summit on September 16-17, Special Envoy of the Russian President for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyor Khakimov told TASS on Thursday.
“The accession process is not a one-time step. There is a certain procedure stipulated in the SCO documents. We expect that in Dushanbe, the Council of Heads of State will make a decision on the commencement of Iran’s admission to the SCO, which means the launching of the negotiation process to agree on the documents according to which Iran will accede to the legal and contractual framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” the Russian envoy said.
Khakimov recalled that the accession process for India and Pakistan had taken about two years. “Generally, this cannot be done faster, because the documents are approved by the countries’ heads and the SCO summit takes place in the format of annual meetings. So, the beginning of the admission procedure means that the talks can be launched in the near future after such a decision is made,” the presidential envoy noted.
According to the diplomat, after the SCO Heads of State Council’s decision, work on preparing a draft memorandum on Iran’s obligations will be launched, and then Tehran will have to accede to a number of necessary documents.
“At the first stage, for example, the applicant state has to join the SCO Charter, the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation and other fundamental agreements,” Khakimov explained.
Putin’s SCO envoy pointed out that going through all the procedures would take a fair amount of time, since “the same charter is the document that is ratified in every country,” and much depends on how quickly all the processes will take place within the applicant state. After fulfilling all the country’s obligations under the memorandum, an appropriate conclusion is prepared and a proposal is made to grant the status of the SCO member.
“So, the process is long, but it can be sped up by a reciprocal countermove, naturally the main burden falls on the applicant state,” Khakimov concluded.
The SCO is an international organization that was established on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai, China. The organization includes India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Four countries, namely Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, have Observer State status, while six countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka) are Dialogue Partners.

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