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Samarkand SCO summit: Iran is now a member

Sep 20, 2022

Neelam Rahim – neelam@radioislam.co.za

4 minute read
20 September 2022
16:50 CAT

Western leaders cast a nervous glance at Samarkand. The second largest city in Uzbekistan where the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation [SCO] gathered for a summit.

The 22nd meeting of the council of heads of state of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation took place in Samarkand last Thursday and Friday. Western leaders were not invited to the meeting, which is the first SCO Summit since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In an interview with Radio Islam International, TRT journalist and diplomatic correspondent Hassan Abdullah said the SCO is a security organisation founded in 2001. The primary objective was cooperation in counter-terrorism, border protection, etc. From there, they have expanded and included the economic dimension as well.

Nine members currently form part of the SCO, including Iran’s latest inclusion. The prevalent members have been China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

According to Hassan, some countries have the status of dialogue partners. There is a level above this: countries close to becoming full members.

Hassan said the SCO organisation represents around 40 per cent of the world’s population in terms of its influence.
“In economic terms, around 30 per cent of the Global GDP is represented by these countries.”

The primary focus during this summit was on security. At the same time, the security interests vary between countries. Hassan said Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Russian support to China with Taiwan, saying that Russia supports the one-China policy and that the US is carrying out aggression to the East of China in an attempt to instigate the situation there.

He added that Ukraine was one of the items on the agenda, as well as bilateral meetings between different members discussing bilateral trade.

“Overall it was the change in dynamics in the regions,” he says.

The Samarkand declaration reinforces what they call ‘the Samarkand spirit’, saying they will continue with dialogue and try to reach convergence as many diverging interests exist between the members.

“They are going to move forward in an atmosphere of consensus to promote economic and security cooperation which is the gist of it,” Hassan said.

There were also renewed calls for reforms to the international system; Turkey is one of the countries part of this call.

Listen below to the interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Hassan Abdullah on Radio Islam’s podcast.

 

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