SAMARKAND: Russia is very happy that Iran will soon join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the SCO summit.
"As we agreed with you, we have done everything for Iran to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Our partners in this organization have supported your application, all that is left is one last formality. It is indeed a formality, and Iran is joining this already serious, large and authoritative international organization," Putin said.
"And we are very happy about this," the Russian president stressed.
Putin added, that on many international issues Moscow’s and Tehran’s stances are close or coincide. "Interregional ties are developing. We actively cooperate on the international arena and on many [points] our positions are close, or, as diplomats say, coincide," he noted.
Putin recalled the warm welcome by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his recent visit to Tehran. "Thanks to his support, many projects are moving forward. We are interested in his further support. I am asking you to convey to him my best wishes," the Russian leader told his colleague.
The current members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, founded in 2001, are India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The observer countries are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia; the partner countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. The current SCO summit in Samarkand is expected to finalize the admission of Iran and grant the status of a dialogue partner to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.