Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can help thwart “US unilateralism” and solve the problems created by sanctions. 

Raisi made the remarks during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Friday, adding that "the Islamic Republic has not been and won't be stopped despite all the enmities, and will not give up in the face of US' bullying."

During the summit, he reiterated that foiling "draconian" US sanctions required new solutions, stressing the need for expanding the central Asian security organization.

Raisi also called for expanding free trade among SCO member countries, alongside financial and banking cooperation, noting that Tehran and Beijing have enormous capacities in the fields of oil and energy, transit, agriculture, and trade. 

Xi, for his part, pointed out that the longstanding friendship of China and Iran have stood the test of a changing international landscape, adding that their common strategic choice is consolidating and growing their comprehensive partnership. 

The two sides should make active efforts to implement their 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan, advance China’s Belt and Road initiative -- a global infrastructure development strategy by the Chinese government to invest in various countries -- and strive for more deliverables of cooperation, Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

Tehran, which seeks to overcome economic isolation imposed by US sanctions, on Thursday signed a memorandum of obligations to become a permanent member of the SCO, formed in 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, and expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan.

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