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Mohammad Keshavarzzadeh on Wednesday delivered a speech to the SCO Non-Governmental Friendship Forum, held in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei Province.

The forum has invited some 500 guests, including leaders of the member countries, observer states, and dialogue partners of the SCO, diplomatic envoys to China, as well as representatives of non-governmental friendship organizations, related enterprises, think tanks, academic research institutes, and the media networks.

What follows is the full text of the Iranian ambassador’s speech:

“Honorable Vladimir Norov;

Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Dear Ambassadors;

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am deeply honored to join you in this valuable event which is the reason to travel for second time to beautiful Wuhan since last year when Wuhanese successfully brought the epidemic under control with their great sacrifice and dedication, that stimulated worldwide admiration.

At the beginning I would like to express my thanks to the Organizing Committee for their invitation and opportunity to share with you some points.

We are gathering at a time and place which is best symbolizing the importance of people-to-people exchange and friendship. 20th anniversary of the founding of Shanghai Cooperation Organization; fiftieth (50th) anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and China; hundredth (100th) anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of China, and sitting together in Wuhan as a place where registered its outstanding record on curbing the Covid-19 pandemic; all of these occasions and facts tell us the story of fundamental role of people-to-people exchange as the solid foundation of relations between nations, but how?

۱٫ As fragmentation and power politics have been increasingly pursued by some countries to the detriment of closer ties between people in different regions, Shanghai Cooperation Organization is boasting about its principled position and long-standing conduct on promoting peace and development through economic integration and taking advantage from cultural diversity for enhancing friendship among its family members.

۲٫ Iran and China benefitting from their traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership, have undertaken various joint efforts and agreements which are best embodied into the Belt and Road initiative. I can refer to the “Joint Statement on preserving Asian Cultural Heritage”, “MOU on Cinematic Exchanges” and broad-based cooperation with Chinese officials and social media which contributed a lot to the cause of Iran-China friendship. It couldn’t be overlooked that one of unforgettable moments of solidarity happened when Azadi tower in Tehran was lit up in sympathy and support to the struggle of Wuhan in the fight against pandemic while some countries were only smearing China by politicizing the virus spread.

۳٫ The hundredth anniversary of the establishment of Communist Party of China is celebrated at a critical juncture. CPC has proven with facts that the path of Chinese nation’s development will not be carried out at the expense of other nations, nor it follows policies in its foreign relations targeting third parties. Recognizing development path suited to each country’s social system and rejection of imposing its political and social system characteristics on others are remarkable and solid stances of the CPC and China and these policies are certainly conducive to deepening mutual benefits of humankind.

۴٫ All of us have witnessed that how these approaches and examples I just now referred to, have been realized in Wuhan during pandemic and afterwards where people in Iran and many other countries offered their sympathy and support once the virus broke out and how timely and effectively Wuhan and in broader scope, China reciprocated with their valuable support.

At the end, I would like to seize this opportunity and express our full willingness to boost cooperation and friendship with Wuhan and China on all fronts including people-to-people exchanges and communication and I hope that this forum will be a complete success.”