Moscow, Sep 16 (EFE).- Russia and China on Friday conceived an alternative to the Western-led world with the entry of Iran into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which invited other Asian countries to join the regional security forum to build a more balanced multipolar order during a summit in Uzbekistan.
“The SCO is today the largest regional organization in the world. Its member countries are home to more than half of the world’s population and contribute a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin during his speech at the summit held in the historic Uzbek city of Samarkand.
The so-called “Eastern Nato”, which accepted India and Pakistan into its ranks five years ago, was attended by representatives of some 20 countries, some of them at odds with the West, such as the authoritarian regimes in Myanmar and Belarus.
Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is a Nato member, attended as a guest observer and expressed his willingness to cooperate with the organization, accusing the West of building new divisive walls in the world.
In its final declaration, the SCO called for increased cooperation in defense and security, especially in the face of the threat of terrorism, a matter of particular concern to China, which promised to train 2,000 specialists in anti-terrorist activities.
Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, called for helping Afghanistan create an “inclusive” government to eliminate “the breeding ground” for terrorism.
On the military front, Chinese troops recently participated with the Russian army in the Vostok-2022 military maneuvers, war games that were held in the midst of the dispute with the US over Taiwan.
The SCO’s members spoke out against interference in a country’s internal affairs “under the pretext of fighting terrorism and extremism” and defended the right of each country to freely choose its political and economic system.
They also denounced that unilateral economic sanctions outside the United Nations Security Council go against international law and have a negative impact on economic relations in the world.
The organization advocates “a more representative, democratic and just multipolar world” in response to the perceived “degradation” of world affairs that has taken place in recent years, leading to new crises and conflicts.
“It is becoming increasingly clear the growing role of new centers of power that cooperate with each other not on the basis of certain externally imposed rules. Fundamental transformations are taking place in world politics and economy and have an irreversible character,” Putin said.
The SCO also called for conflicts to be settled politically and diplomatically, without mentioning Russia’s “special military campaign” – the Kremlin’s official term for its war in Ukraine.
“The member countries proceed from the assumption that there is no alternative to the political-diplomatic settlement of conflicts in different regions of the world on the basis of strict compliance with the universally accepted norms and principles of international law,” the statement said.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, Moscow has pressured Kyiv to accept its conditions at the negotiating table, ranging from renouncing Nato membership to complete demilitarization.
“I know that now is not the time for wars,” said Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister, as he met with the Russian president.
Although they have criticized Nato’s expansion, no Kremlin ally has supported its military intervention, with the exception of Belarus, largely out of fear of sanctions.
Erdogan, who was given the floor at the end of the summit, said he was confident that his mediation alongside the UN would succeed in bringing the fighting in Ukraine to an end.
Iran, whose president, Ebrahim Raisi, addressed the summit, consummated its accession as a full member, although it will not sit at the same table with the other eight members until 2023.
Putin was convinced that the Islamic republic’s accession will have a positive effect on the functioning and strengthening of the organization’s role in the world.
In addition, Europe’s last dictator, Belarusian Alexander Lukashenko, asked for his country’s membership, although it is an exclusively European country, a request supported by Putin, who called Minsk “Russia’s closest partner.”