FM Zarif in Kazakhstan for SCO Summit

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is in Kazakhstan capital of Astana to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

Zarif arrived in the Astana on Thursday to participate in the two-day SCO summit and the opening ceremony of Astana Expo 2017. Iran’s formal membership of the SCO will also be on the agenda of the summit.

The SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organization founded by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001 to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security.

It has six observer states, namely Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia, India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan are one step away from becoming SCO members.

On the sidelines of the summit, the top Iranian diplomat met with his Kazakh counterpart Kairat Abdrakhmanov. They discussed bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest, including the regional ones.

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said Iran’s membership at the SCO would have a positive impact on cooperation between the organization’s member states in the fields of security, economy and humanitarian issues.

China also said on Monday it supported Iran’s membership.

The SCO refused to initiate Iran’s accession last year despite a request from Russia.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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