Kyrgyz FM: Iran’s Accession Will Boost SCO Clout

Kyrgyz FM: Iran’s Accession Will Boost SCO Clout

Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Abdyldaev Erlan said Iran's accession to Shanghai Cooperation Organization would add to the body's efficiency and clout.
"We believe inducting Iran as an SCO permanent member would increase SCO's clout and efficiency," Erlan was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency on Thursday.
He made the statement in a meeting with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour on the margins of the 15th SCO prime ministers' meeting in Kyrgyzstan.
SCO is a political, economic and military alliance that includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Belarus, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan hold observer status in the organization, while Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka hold the status of dialogue partners.
Pakistan, India and Iran had officially applied for SCO membership. On July 10, 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members.
India and Pakistan signed the memorandum of obligations on June 24 during the SCO summit in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, thereby starting the formal process of joining SCO as full members.  
Since 2008, Russia has been advocating the idea of Iran's SCO membership.
Erlan noted that the situation is ripe after Iran's nuclear deal for improved Tehran-Bishkek cooperation.
"An opportunity has arisen following the JCPOA for the development of bilateral relations, especially in the economic sector, and we are ready to exploit that opportunity," he said.
He was using an acronym that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the accord that took effect in mid-January to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for curtailing its nuclear program.
Erlan added that his side attaches great importance and looks forward to an upcoming visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Bishkek.
Rahimpour also met Indian Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar to discuss bilateral ties and the latest regional developments, particularly in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Akbar highlighted the current level of "constructive" cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi on regional issues and called for strengthening it.   


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