Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit confirms commitment to eradicate terrorism

ASTANA — At the conclusion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO, Summit in Astana today, the heads of the organisation’s member states signed several documents, including the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, a statement on their joint counteraction against international terrorism, and the Astana Declaration.

“We have discussed our current state of affairs and further steps to promote comprehensive co-operation, as well as current international issues related to the activities of the SCO. I am sure that the exchange of views that took place, as well as the initiatives and proposals put forward, will find practical applications while taking into account the interests of our countries. Such an approach will strengthen relations within the SCO and help to increase the effectiveness of the organisation’s activities,” stated Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, while summing up the results of the summit.

President Nazarbayev thanked his counterparts for the constructive dialogue and productive proposals.

The SCO added two new members to its body, when neighbouring India and Pakistan joined its ranks.

The SCO will officially transform into the Shanghai Eight, said President Nazarbayev,adding that the SCO is expanding as India and Pakistan are about to become full-fledged members.

“The decision to grant observer status to India and Pakistan was signed here, in Astana, 12 years ago. Today’s meeting is important because these two countries participated for the first time. Now, the zone of the SCO’s responsibility embraces a territory with a population of over three billion people. That means that the organisation is embarking on a new stage of its institutional development as the Shanghai Eight,” Nazarbayev added during the session’s extended format.

While addressing the SCO Summit, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, highlighted India’s participation as a full-time member. “We will take the SCO to new heights. India is keen to deepen the focus on connectivity in the region. There is extensive potential for co-operation among the SCO nations in multiple sectors, such as education, agriculture, energy, development and counter-terrorism measures,” he said.

Xi Jinping, President of China, told Prime Minister Modi that the two countries should work together to appropriately manage their differences. President Xi also congratulated India on becoming an official member state of the SCO security bloc, jointly led by Russia and China.

He emphasised that since then, the SCO has gained international recognition and has become an effective platform for multifaceted co-operation.

According to President Nazarbayev, a lot of work has been done to strengthen security in the region, deepen economic co-operation and expand cultural and humanitarian co-operation between member states. “The Astana Summit marks a new page in the history of our organisation. This is the last time we will gather in a six-party format,” President Nazarbayev stressed, adding that the official decision on India’s and Pakistan’s addition to the SCO has been made. “The accession of the new members will kick-start the development of the organisation and enable it to earn a greater international standing,” he said.

At the end of his speech, President Nazarbayev noted that the fundamental interests of the SCO member states will dictate the need to further deepen and expand co-operation into a larger format, which will involve eight states. “I am confident that it is only through joint efforts that we can achieve a high level of interaction and meaningful results in all key areas of the organisation’s work,” he concluded.

The SCO, established in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, conducts multilateral co-operation between its member states on national security, military, economy and culture issues.

Source: Emirates News Agency