Ahmadinejad Due in Afghanistan on Tuesday

A01113078.jpgIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to start a five-day tour of three nations on Tuesday, which will take him to Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. On the first leg of his trip, the Iranian president is scheduled to visit Kabul to attend talks with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai who has already extended several invitations to Ahmadinejad to visit Iran’s eastern neighbor.

Iran and Afghanistan have always maintained good and developing relations ever since the fall of the Taliban.

Ahmadinejad will then leave Kabul for Ashgabat to meet senior Turkmen officials, including President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, during his two-day sojourn in that country.

On the next leg of his tour, the Iranian president is scheduled to pay a visit to the Kyrgyz capital to attend a summit of the Shanhghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Thursday, August 16.

During his two-day trip to Bishkek, Ahmadinejad is also due to confer with his Russian, Chinese, Pakistani, Tajik, Kazakh and Uzbek counterparts about bilateral ties and regional issues.

Bishkek is also due to host meetings of the security council secretaries, council of the foreign ministers and bank representatives of SCO member states on the sidelines of the summit of the heads of state.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an inter-governmental organization founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 by six countries – China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Iran, Pakistan, India and Mongolia have observer status in the SCO.

The Iranian president will take part in the summit in accordance with SCO regulations and an agreement reached by member states allowing participation by observer states.

SCO’s six member states have a total population of 1.455 billion, about a quarter of the world’s total.

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