Samarkand, 15 September 2022 (TDI): Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif met the President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif meets President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi in Samarqand, Uzbekistan pic.twitter.com/0KvgQNmoQc
— Prime Minister’s Office (@PakPMO) September 15, 2022
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, during the meeting, thanked President Raisi and the Iranian people for their solidarity and support for the Pakistani people during the country’s severe floods.
The Prime Minister highlighted the devastation caused by climate change floods, underlining that Pakistan, which has the lowest carbon emissions, was incurring the expense of something for which it was not responsible.
He underscored the significance of concrete international action in addressing the difficulties that climate-vulnerable countries like Pakistan face.
Furthermore, during the discussion, the two sides praised the outcome of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission and pledged to strengthen bilateral ties in a variety of areas.
Both parties also expressed a willingness to develop economic, trade, connectivity, energy, culture, and people-to-people ties.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of increased bilateral engagement in order to improve economic and energy cooperation, operationalize barter commerce, open border sustenance markets, and facilitate Pakistani Zaireen.
Along these lines, Pakistan agreed to deploy a delegation to discuss options for enhanced cooperation in bilateral commerce and energy sectors.
Moreover, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif invited President Raisi to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. President Raisi extended the Prime Minister’s invitation to visit Iran once more.
The Prime Minister arrived in Uzbekistan on a two-day visit mainly to attend the summit, at the invitation of the Uzbek President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, along with a high-level delegation.
The meeting was also attended by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan; Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Defence Minister; Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Finance Minister; Miftah Ismail, and SAPM Tariq Fatemi.
SCO Summit 2022
The SCO Summit in 2022 is being hosted in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Samarkand is known to be on the old Silk Road trade route that connects China to the Mediterranean.
The SCO summit in Uzbekistan would focus on assessing the organization’s operations over the last two decades and identifying areas where multilateral collaboration could be beneficial.
The talks would also include the geopolitical situation in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the situation in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
It is noteworthy that this is the first in-person summit since the SCO summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2019. The 22nd Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State will be attended by leaders of SCO member states.
Moreover, the Observer states, the SCO Secretary General, the Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), the President of Turkmenistan as well as others will attend.
In addition, Iran is scheduled to be formally admitted to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization during the conference.
It is pertinent to note that following the Samarkand Summit, India will assume the SCO presidency. India will preside over the SCO till September 2023. It will host the SCO summit the following year.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a political, economic, and security organization in Eurasia.
It is the world’s largest regional organization in terms of geographic breadth and population, covering around 60% of Eurasia, 40% of the world population, and more than 30% of the global GDP.
The Shanghai Five, a mutual security pact founded in 1996 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, is the successor of the SCO.
The leaders of these countries plus Uzbekistan gathered in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, to announce a new organization with closer political and economic cooperation; the SCO Charter was signed on July 7, 2002, and entered into force on September 19, 2003.
It has since grown to eight members, with India and Pakistan joining on June 9, 2017. Several countries have agreed to participate as observers or discussion partners.
The SCO is managed by its top decision-making body, the Heads of State Council (HSC), which meets once a year.
Iran was one of the first countries to acknowledge Pakistan’s sovereign status after its independence in August 1947. Both countries continue to cooperate economically when possible.
Likewise, they are also building coalitions in a variety of areas of mutual interest, including battling the drug traffic along their border and the Balochistan conflict.
Iran has also indicated an interest in participating in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of China’s wider Belt and Road Initiative.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have recently improved as a result of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s policy of expanding Pakistan’s connection with Iran.