TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Tehran for Beijing on Tuesday to attend a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and also attend bilateral talks with the senior officials of the hosting country as well as authorities of other member states participating in the conference.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced last week that the country’s President Hu Jintao had officially invited his Iranian counterpart to attend the summit.
The 12th SCO summit will be held in Beijing on June 6-7. The participants in the SCO summit would discuss current regional and international developments during the meeting.
Ahmadinejad’s visit to China takes on particular significance as China is a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council and has resisted US demands for sanctions on Iran.
In Beijing, the Iranian president is due to meet with senior Chinese officials to discuss bilateral ties and cooperation and most likely the Iran-West nuclear standoff.
Ahmadinejad is also slated to attend meetings with heads of other member states present in the summit meeting, most notably Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Ahmadinejad-Putin meeting will come just days ahead of another round of talks between Tehran and the world powers in Moscow.
Putin and Ahmadinejad agreed to meet over the phone and the initiative came “from both sides,” Kremlin foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said on Sunday.