Raeisi to Attend SCO Summit

Raeisi to Attend SCO Summit
Raeisi to Attend SCO Summit

President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Tajikistan to take part in a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman announced.
In an online press conference on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh said Raisi plans to visit Tajikistan in his first foreign trip after taking office, ISNA reported. 
He said the presidential visit to Tajikistan will pursue two purposes, participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and holding talks about Tehran-Dushanbe relations.
“The president’s office and the Foreign Ministry are working on extensive plans about both aspects. The necessary arrangements have been made by Dushanbe and the Iranian Embassy in Tajikistan,” Khatibzadeh said.
Asked about the possibility of finalization of Iran’s accession to the SCO in the upcoming summit, the spokesman said Iran’s request to join the SCO will be considered in the meeting, hoping that desirable results would be achieved.
Tajikistan will be hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on September 16-17 in Dushanbe.
The spokesman noted that Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was planned to visit India, but the trip has been rescheduled because of several events, such as the presidential visit to Tajikistan and a number of other major meetings in the foreign policy sphere.
Special Envoy of the Russian President for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyor Khakimov told TASS on Thursday that 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.



Accession Process

“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.

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