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Iran's full SCO membership major step toward enhancing ties with neighbors, Asian states: Official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The 21st Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit kicked off in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe on September 17, 2021.

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry has welcomed the approval of the Islamic Republic’s permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), saying it will play a leading role in enhancing Tehran’s ties with neighboring and Asian countries.

In a post on his official Twitter account on Friday, Saeed Khatibzadeh said he “warmly welcome(s) the decision of the SCO to approve #Iran's full membership.”

He added that the endorsement would be “a major step toward enhanced ties with neighbors & an important impetus for our Asia-centered foreign policy.”

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that the country would continue its efforts to “build on indigenous initiatives for the good of the region.”

Earlier in the day, the SCO approved documents for Iran's full membership at the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance at its 21st summit in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe. 

Iran Foreign Ministry to pursue active diplomacy in ties with SCO states

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry thanked all the SCO members for their decision to accept the Islamic Republic’s full membership and vowed to pursue an “active diplomacy” to improve relations with the members.

“Accepting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s request for its membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an important step and will play a positive role in developing our country's cooperation and relations with the members of this organization in all bilateral, regional and international dimensions,” the ministry said.

In a tweet, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also welcomed the SCO decision, saying it has an "important impact on the process of Iran’s comprehensive cooperation in line with its neighborhood and Asia-centered policy.”

In another tweet, the Iranian foreign minister said he held talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of the SCO summit and thanked President Vladimir Putin’s support for Iran’s permanent membership to the organization.

He added that they agreed on the statement about the situation in Afghanistan, which was issued by foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan.

Addressing the summit, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi said the country’s foreign policy has always been based on supporting multilateralism and active participation in international organizations while playing a constructive role in countering regional and global challenges.

“The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been based on active participation in international organizations, multilateralism and opposition to unilateralism based on justice, cooperation, mutual respect and the need to play a constructive role in facing international and regional challenges,” the president said.

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