Iran’s presence in SCO would benefit member states: Kazakh envoy

TEHRAN. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan Ambassador to Tehran Askhat Orazbay said that membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) would benefit member states.

The Islamic Republic of Iran was among the first countries that recognized Kazakhstan after the USSR disintegration, Orazbay said in an interview with IRNA on Monday, adding that his country bears this in mind and wouldn’t forget it.

The Ambassador noted that this indicated that Iran carefully monitored developments in neighboring countries since it was aware these states would soon become independent and was ready to recognize them, IRNA reports.

Orazbay whose country is the periodical president of the SCO said that the regional organization holds an annual prime ministers summit in addition to the presidential summit and Kazakhstan has invited Iran’s First Vice President to attend the summit to be held in November.

Iran gained the status of full member in the SCO last month and the summit next month would be the first time Iran is attending an SCO meeting as a full member since it joined the organization as an observer in 2005.

On the bilateral economic ties between Iran and Kazakhstan, the diplomat said that bilateral trade amounts to 230 million dollars which is much less than the real capacities both countries have.

Iran’s roads to Kazakhstan have to cross third countries which is sometimes troublesome for the passage of trucks, he said, noting that at the same time Iran and Kazakhstan ports in the Caspian Sea have limited capacity, Orazbay said, adding that both countries intent to elevate bilateral trade.

He said that sanctions have impacted economic exchange and Kazakhstan hoped that the efforts to lift these sanctions would bear fruit, as it would be beneficial for all parties.

Orazbay also welcomed the proposal to connect Turkistan city in Kazakhstan to Sari in Mazandaran Province of Iran as a tourist attraction.

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