13th SCO summit pledges to foster regional cooperation

Eurasia News

BISHKEK: The participants of the 13th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on Friday resolved to focus on fostering economic development and regional security cooperation, Dispatch News Desk reported.

The leaders of Russia‚ China‚ Kyrgyzstan‚ Kazakhstan‚ Uzbekistan‚ and Tajikistan held the one-day summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Friday. The presidents of Afghanistan‚ Iran‚ and Mongolia as well as delegations from observer states India and Pakistan joined the gathering later.

The SCO presidents signed a number of documents‚ including the Bishkek Declaration which reiterates the SCO member states’ cooperation and joint efforts against illegal drug trafficking‚ terrorism‚ extremism‚ and separatism.

Prime Minister’s advisor on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz who is representing Pakistan in the summit said Pakistan has already declared its policy of no interference and no favorites in Afghanistan after 2014.

Aziz said Afghanistan would have a chance to build an Afghan-led reconciliation process.

Earlier, inaugurating the summit‚ Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev said an international conference will be held in the Kyrgyz capital next month that will focus on the situation in Afghanistan and regional security after the withdrawal of NATO troops in 2014.

Atambaev said Kyrgyzstan stood for only a peaceful solution of the crisis in Syria while Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev stated their countries’ support for Moscow’s stand regarding Syria‚ which precludes a military threat.

The SCO is an intergovernmental security organization, founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan are observer members of the organization while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

The SCO’s policies and programs are in consonance with Pakistan’s long term objectives of promoting peace and stability in the region‚ containing and eradicating the menace of terrorism from the region and working with members to build stronger and more productive relationship in the future.