Iran’s Raisi in Tajikistan for Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit
Ebrahim Raisi is set to hold sideline meetings with his Russian and Pakistani counterparts
By News Desk - September 16 2021

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi travelled to Tajikistan on 16 September to attend the leaders’ summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Upon his departure from Tehran, Raisi told media that this trip will open a new chapter in Tehran–Dushanbe ties in political, economic and cultural fields.

Several agreements are planned to be signed between the Iranian and Tajik sides, he added.

Raisi is also set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

Chief among the topics the three leaders are expected to discuss is the developing situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to consolidate power following the hasty retreat of US troops.

Both Russia and Pakistan are among the few nations to have signaled possible support for a Taliban government.

Experts believe that, given the Tehran’s amiable relationship with Moscow, the meeting in Dushanbe could signal an alignment between the two allies in formally recognizing Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Nonetheless, political factions within Iran remain divided on the topic, as some see America’s defeat in Afghanistan as an opportunity that must be seized while others continue to argue that the Islamic Republic should not support “terrorists.”

Since taking office earlier this year, the Iranian President has repeatedly remarked on the importance of regional cooperation, calling it a fundamental component of his foreign policy. As such, he has promised to prioritize Iran’s neighbors over Western powers.

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