Iran to partake in 2023 SCO Summit as full member: Moscow
Iran is set to become the ninth member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the SCO's upcoming summit. What will happen on its sidelines, though?
Iran will be participating in the 2023 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in India as a full-time member of the organization, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said Tuesday.
"Memorandums will be signed on the obligations of Iran in order to obtain membership in the association. This means that, after fulfilling these obligations, Iran will participate as a full member at the next summit," Ushakov told reporters.
"There will no longer be a group of eight countries, but nine," the top official added, announcing Iran's introduction to the body.
Uzbek Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov said in May that if Iran fulfilled its commitments under the SCO international agreements, it would become a full-fledged member in 2023.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an economic, political, and security organization comprising China, India, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. SCO Observer countries include Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia, with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka holding a dialogue partner status.
Talks on JCPOA between Putin, Raisi
The Russian official went on to reveal that President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will be discussing the situation around the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), during an upcoming meeting later on in the week.
The two leaders will meet on the sidelines of the SCO summit that will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on September 15-16, on the event's sidelines.
"The leaders will discuss [Iran's SCO membership], as well as the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the Iranian nuclear program," Ushakov told a press briefing.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani revealed last Monday that Raisi would take part in the SCO summit after the organization's last summit in Dushanbe last September began the procedure of Iran's accession.
Likewise, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Uzbekistan, the Russian official underlined.
The two leaders will discuss the situation surrounding Ukraine in Samarkand, the activities of the SCO, and the means of bolstering its role in the international arena.
"China's view on the Ukrainian crisis is balanced. They clearly show the understanding of the reasons that forced Russia to launch the special military operation," Ushakov explained.
"This meeting, taking into account the current international situation, of course, is of particular importance," he added.
The summit is also projected to be highly productive for the involved parties, as the Kremlin aide said its results, which include the adoption of more than 20 documents, would be recorded in a declaration.
"After the discussion, the main outcomes of the summit will be recorded in the Samarkand Declaration of the SCO. This is the main document of the current summit, and it is intended to reflect the consolidated positions of all countries on the further development of the organization and current topics on the global and regional agenda," he said.
The over 20 documents in question, on the other hand, have already been worked out and agreed upon, including a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the provisions of the treaty on "long-term good neighborliness, friendship, and cooperation for 2023-2027."
Moreover, President Putin is set to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he "stay[s] in touch [with]", Ushakov said. They will discuss the "food deal" and various bilateral economic issues in Samarkand.
"Now, there are many topics for negotiations, including some related to Turkey's positive role, in particular, in concluding the so-called 'food deal' and so on."
"A large place in the course of these negotiations will be occupied by economic issues in continuation of the agreements that were reached on July 5 in Sochi," the top official added.
An alternative medium
The organization, Ushakov argued, offers a "real alternative" to Western-centric structures and mechanisms, with all members of the organization being committed to the formation of a more democratic world order that is not concentrated on one pole.
"We believe that the SCO offers a real alternative to Western-centric structures and mechanisms since all members of the SCO are committed to the formation of a more representative, democratic, just, and multipolar world order, which is based on the universally recognized principles of international law," he told reporters.
He went on to explain how the SCO included countries that had different cultural and civilizational traditions, dealt with other countries using different foreign policy guidelines, and followed different models of national development.
Ushakov then stressed that work within the SCO "built on the principles of equality, on the principles of mutual benefit, respect for sovereignty, refusal to interfere in internal affairs, which allowed to turn the SCO into an effective and influential mechanism for multilateral cooperation in a small period on a historical scale."