Iran willing to strengthen cooperation and relation with Pakistan: official
Published: Feb 01, 2024 11:05 PM
The meeting of SCO National Coordinators Council is held from January 31 to February 1. Photo: Courtesy of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The meeting of SCO National Coordinators Council is held from January 31 to February 1, 2024. Photo: Courtesy of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Iran's position and policy align in always strengthening cooperation and relations with neighboring countries, including Pakistan, Mehrdad Kiaei, the National Coordinator of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the SCO Secretariat, told the Global Times in a recent interview.

He also emphasized Iran's experience and success in defeating terrorist groups, which will contribute to the efforts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in countering terrorism, one of the primary objectives of the organization.

The Iranian diplomat made these remarks during a meeting between coordinators of the SCO member countries and media representatives in Beijing on Tuesday.

On Monday, Iran and Pakistan announced the establishment of a high-level consultative mechanism to oversee the progress in various areas of cooperation between the two countries, including counter-terrorism following the recent dispute between the two countries, read a Xinhua report.

Asked about the details regarding the counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation, Kiaei pointed out that, while he was not particularly aware of this, he emphasized Iran's commitment to deepening cooperation with neighboring countries including Pakistan.

On July 4, 2023, Iran officially joined the SCO, becoming the ninth permanent member of the organization. Kiaei told the media that Iran's membership in the SCO adds to the organization's position in the global arena, particularly in the energy field. As a major provider of energy in the region, Iran's inclusion in the SCO strengthens its position and enhances its role in international politics.

From January 31 to February 1, the SCO held the meeting of the SCO National Coordinators Council. As the coordinating and managing body for the daily activities of the SCO, this council is responsible for necessary preparations for the organization's meetings of heads of state, heads of government, and foreign ministers, according to media reports.

Talking about the expansion of the SCO, Kiaei said Iran welcomed new membership in the organization, recognizing its potential to further strengthen the SCO's position in the region and increase its value in international affairs.

He said that Iran has maintained close relations with member states historically, particularly with central Asian countries. The cultural ties and historical significance of the Silk Road provide a solid foundation for cooperation between Iran and SCO member states. Kiaei emphasized the importance of increasing cultural cooperation and strengthening relations among the people of SCO countries.

Although Iran is a new member, having joined the organization only six months ago, efforts are already underway to organize events that promote people-to-people exchanges. While specific events have yet to be determined, Iran is committed to strengthening relations within the SCO and fostering a sense of common identity among member states, he noted.

The SCO currently has nine member states, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, and Iran, as well as three observer states, including Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia.