SCO Summit Brings Expanded Cooperation

‘Historic’ SCO Summit to Bring New Opportunities for Cooperation

(Xinhua News Agency, June 8, 2017. Complete text:) Astana - The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit to be held here in the Kazakh capital on Thursday [June 8] and Friday will advance security and economic cooperation among its members, analysts have said.

India and Pakistan will complete their accession to the SCO during the Astana summit. Meanwhile, leaders of the member states will also discuss the bloc’s missions and prospects and exchange views on international and regional issues.

Former SCO Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev called the summit "historic," as it will be the first time for the China-initiated organization to expand membership since its founding in Shanghai in 2001. The SCO currently groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"The SCO is turning into a transcontinental organization covering (an extensive area) from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean, from China’s Pacific city of Lianyungang to Russia’s Baltic city of Kaliningrad," said SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov.

The SCO has played an effective role in ensuring security, stability and sustainable development in the modern system of interstate relations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told Xinhua.

The key factor is the readiness of the SCO members to base their activities on the principles of the "Shanghai Spirit," said the Russian diplomat.

Security cooperation.

According to Morgulov, new risks are added to traditional security challenges in the SCO region, and the Islamic State terrorists are trying to penetrate into the SCO space.

Against this backdrop, the SCO needs to increase the effectiveness of its anti-terrorist efforts, Morgulov said.

To that end, the SCO should strengthen its regional anti-terrorist structure headquartered in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, said Vladimir Yevseyev, deputy head of the Moscow-based Commonwealth of Independence States Studies Institute.

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