Iran’s accession vital step for Iran, SCO: Former secretary-general

BEIJING (APP) : Former secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Bolat Nurgaliyev has said Iran’s accession is an important step for both Iran and the SCO.

“When an international organization has many countries wishing to join, it can prove the increasing authority and attractiveness of the organization.

Therefore, the decision to admit the Islamic Republic of Iran as a formal member of the SCO is not only an important step for Iran but also for the entire SCO,” he told CGTN.

Terming China as the main advocate for the establishment of the SCO, he said that China has made significant and invaluable contributions to the establishment and formulation of operating principles for the organization.

“China has played a constructive role in transforming the organization from a dialogue platform into a formal organization,” he added.

“While commenting on Iran’s admission into the SCO family, Director, Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,” Sun Zhuangzhi said that the principle of the SCO is very clear.

The organization is open and does not target third parties, nor will it establish military and political alliances.

He said that Belarus is likely to become a member of the SCO soon, adding, Originally, SCO was considered to be in Central Asia or in the hinterland of Eurasia, but now it has expanded to Eastern Europe.

In his comment, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Iran, Beijing, Ali Zargaran said that by actively participating in SCO-led initiatives, Iran can leverage its geographical advantage to become a vital transit hub and facilitate trade between East and West.

Moreover, the SCO plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges of terrorism and extremism. Iran has long been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and its participation in the SCO will further strengthen regional security cooperation, he added.

Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) and former Foreign Secretary, Sohail Mahmood said that Pakistan sees the SCO model as a very good example of how states can and should engage with each other through dialogue, collaboration and based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, cultural diversity and openness.

In terms of the practical implementation, indeed the progress appears to be slow, but there are legitimate reasons for the slow pace. But even with the slow pace of implementation, the organization serves as an important forum for countries of the region and beyond to continue their dialogue on security and stability, he added.

Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the SCO Secretariat, Nurlan Akkoshkarov said that it is particularly noteworthy that in order to achieve economic autonomy, the member states of the SCO are exploring to reduce the use of U.S. dollars in mutual settlements and creating their own currency circulation system. Currently, this issue is being actively discussed.

If the SCO develops well, the member states, after assessing the results of multilateral cooperation, may put aside their bilateral differences and in turn deepen the SCO integration, which will eventually enhance the role of the Eastern region and make it more globally dominant and replace the West, he added.

It may be mentioned that Iran on Tuesday officially became the ninth member state of the SCO along with China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India and Pakistan.