TEHRAN -- Ebrahim Raisi will make his first official visit as the Iranian president to Tajikistan to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced Monday.
“The visit to Tajikistan will pursue two purposes, participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and holding talks on Tehran-Dushanbe relations,” he told a weekly news conference.
“The president’s office and the Foreign Ministry are working on extensive plans about both aspects. The necessary arrangements have been made by Dushanbe and the Iranian Embassy in Tajikistan,” Khatibzadeh added.
Asked about the possibility of finalization of Iran’s accession to the SCO in the upcoming summit, the spokesman said Iran’s request to join the organization will be considered in the meeting, hoping that desirable results would be achieved.
Tajikistan will be hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on September 16-17 in Dushanbe.
The SCO is a regional forum launched in 2001 by China, Russia, and the Central Asian republics minus Turkmenistan.
Iran has awaited accession since becoming an observer member of the SCO in 2005. After signing a strategic treaty with China and preparing to make a similar deal with Russia in the near term, Iran’s accession to the SCO could be seen as the third decisive move in Tehran’s deep inclination toward the East.
Khatibzadeh also said Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian will visit India, but the trip has been rescheduled because of several events, such as the presidential visit to Tajikistan and a number of other major meetings.