Uzbekistan and Iran’s foreign ministers meet, discuss situation in Afghanistan

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian met with his Uzbekistan counterpart in Tehran on Saturday and among the issues discussed was the situation in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, Amirabdollahian met with Bakhtiar Saidov and “underscored the need for cooperation and help from neighboring countries to strengthen peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

The meeting comes amid increasing economic, trade and transit relations between the two countries and just days after Uzbekistan approved Iran’s entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The approval was signed last week by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

AKIpress reported that Mirziyoyev instructed the foreign ministry to notify the SCO Secretariat of the decision.

Iran signed a memorandum of commitment to obtain the status of an SCO member state during the SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in September 2022.

The country’s parliament passed a bill on Iran’s accession to SCO and a bill on a memorandum of commitment for Iran as a member state of SCO in November 2022 and January 2023. Now, in accordance with the procedures of SCO, the memorandum must be approved by the member countries of the organization.

India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are members of SCO, which was established in 2001.

Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are observer countries, while Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka are partner countries.

The procedure for admitting Iran to the organization was launched at the SCO summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in 2021.