Home > Uncategorized > With New Partners, SCO To Be Force For Security, Stability, Development

With New Partners, SCO To Be Force For Security, Stability, Development

China Daily
June 8, 2012

SCO will be ‘fortress of security and stability’

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The participation of Afghanistan and Turkey enlarges the region that the SCO covers geographically and increases the bloc’s global influence…

Leaders and officials from the four SCO observer countries, Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India, as well as Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, also delivered speeches at the meeting.

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization granted Afghanistan observer status on Thursday as President Hu Jintao said the bloc aimed to become a “fortress of regional security and stability and a driving force of regional economic development”.

The current summit of the organization in Beijing, which witnessed the signing of agreements covering security, politics and the economies of the members, will be a landmark in the bloc’s history as it set out a clear vision of its direction, analysts said.

By granting observer status to Afghanistan, the SCO, which groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, consolidated ties with the war-torn country ahead of the pullout of most foreign troops by the end of 2014.

The organization also announced that Turkey, a NATO member, will join Sri Lanka and Belarus as a dialogue partner.

Observer status will strengthen “political, economic and civilian cooperation between the SCO states and Afghanistan,” Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Cheng Guoping said after the summit.

Central Asia’s stability is a pressing issue for the regional bloc, analysts said, especially considering the turmoil in the Middle East and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Chen Yurong, a researcher of regional affairs with the Institute of International Studies, said as the security situation in Central Asia has changed, the SCO must revise security policies.

The participation of Afghanistan and Turkey enlarges the region that the SCO covers geographically and increases the bloc’s global influence, Chen said. But some analysts suggested that the SCO should be cautious about more participants, as it could undermine the bloc’s capability given the sharp economic and historical differences between some countries.

The SCO on Thursday also recommitted itself to closer security ties by adopting a 2013-15 anti-terrorism plan and establishing a swift response mechanism.

The mechanism allows SCO members to request the help of other members to handle domestic emergencies.

It “will considerably boost the SCO’s ability to prevent and tackle emergencies”, a diplomatic source said.

Hu told the summit that “we should establish and improve a system of security cooperation”.

He also said that the members must tackle terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as drug traffickers and other organized cross-border criminal activity.

Development blueprint

Analysts said that the Beijing summit will be a milestone as it gives impetus to the development of the bloc, founded in 2001.

The member countries issued a joint declaration to adopt the Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the SCO and vowed to build the region into an area of secure and lasting peace and shared prosperity.

“It is no exaggeration to say the adoption of the strategic plan will have a far-reaching influence on the SCO’s development,” Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng said.

Xing Guangcheng, executive director of the SCO Research Center, said the declaration and strategic plan not only show the openness of the SCO, but also highlight the sustainability and stamina of the organization’s future development.

Hu said the summit is pivotal for the future development of the SCO, especially as the international and regional situation has been more complex and volatile.

Only after SCO members enhance cooperation and act in unison can they effectively cope with emerging challenges, safeguard regional peace and achieve development, he said.

Hu also said China will offer a loan of $10 billion to support economic cooperation within the bloc, and the loan will also be used to aid the development of SCO member states.

He also said China will help train 1,500 experts from other member countries over the next three years. It is also going to provide 30,000 government scholarships and invite 10,000 Confucius Institute teachers and students to come to China for research and study over the next decade.

The president also called for the establishment of a development bank, a food security mechanism, and for the promotion of trade and investment.

The 2013 SCO summit will be held in Kyrgyzstan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Uzbek President Islam Karimov also addressed the summit on Thursday.

Leaders and officials from the four SCO observer countries, Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India, as well as Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, also delivered speeches at the meeting.

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Xinhua News Agency
June 8, 2012

SCO accepts Afghanistan as observer, Turkey as dialogue partner

BEIJING: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has decided to grant Afghanistan observer status and accept Turkey as a dialogue partner, President Hu Jintao said Thursday.

Hu announced the decision made by SCO member states at a press conference held after the SCO Beijing summit, which ran from Wednesday to Thursday. China currently serves as SCO president.

While announcing the inclusion, Hu also elaborated on the agreements that have been reached by SCO member states over the past two days.

Member states have vowed to facilitate trade and investment in a bid to tap economic potential within the bloc, Hu said.

Hu said SCO member states have agreed to enhance cooperation in the finance,transportation, energy, telecommunications and agriculture sectors.

To advance regional economic development, the organization will continue to make efforts to establish a special account and development bank, Hu said.

The SCO’s development over the next decade will weigh heavily on the peace and development of its member states, the region and the world, Hu said.

He explained that member states have approved a mid-term development strategic plan and agreed to build the SCO into a “harmonious community.”

With terrorism, separatism, extremism and transnational crime on the rise, SCO member states have agreed to enhance their capacity to warn about and handle emergencies, as well as make the organization a reliable guarantor of regional security, Hu said.

SCO member states believe it is necessary to promote cultural and educational exchanges and expand their channels for people-to-people exchanges and social interaction, Hu said.

The SCO will strengthen cooperation with its observer states and dialogue partners, the United Nations and its affiliated organizations, as well as other international and regional organizations, Hu said.

Kyrgyzstan will fill the SCO’s rotating presidency after the two-day Beijing summit, Hu said.

China will continue to support the SCO’s development and provide aid within its capacity to other member states, according to Hu.

At the end of the summit, SCO member states adopted 10 new agreements, including the Declaration on Building a Region with Lasting Peace and Common Prosperity, the Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and regulations concerning the SCO’s method of response to regional security threats.

While addressing the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO Thursday morning, Hu called for the SCO to be built into an effective platform for increasing international exchange and influence.

“We should enhance consultations with international and regional organizations through the platform to safeguard peace, promote development and boost world multipolarization and democratization of international relations,” Hu said.

The SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 and currently has six full members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Prior to Thursday’s inclusion, the SCO had four observer states (Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India) and two dialogue partners (Belarus and Sri Lanka).

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Voice of Russia
June 7, 2012

Shanghai Organization’s summit: diplomacy is the only solution
Svetlana Andreeva and Konstantin Garibov

A summit between the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries ended in Beijing on Thursday.

The Shanghai Organization is an alliance between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which was formed to promote cooperation between its members in economic and other spheres, as well as joint efforts to fight against terrorism.

The amendments signed at the summit outline a new strategy of development for the Shanghai Organization – in particular, the procedure for accepting new members to the organization.

One of the agreements signed at the summit is entitled “A Declaration on Building a Region with Lasting Peace and Common Prosperity”. All of the presidents attending the summit called for Central Asia to become a nuclear-free zone. They also declared that no outside interference in the affairs of the region would be acceptable. The declaration also says that the concrete mechanisms of preserving security within the borders of the alliance should only be determined by its member countries. At the same time, the alliance does not aim at challenging any other countries.

One of the main outcomes of the SCO summit was the granting of observer status to Afghanistan. The countries that already had this status are Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran.

“The Shanghai Organization has always stood for closer cooperation with Afghanistan,” Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said at the summit.

“We hope that the observer status in the Shanghai Organization will allow Afghanistan to promote closer ties with Asian countries. The Shanghai Organization is open for cooperation with other countries or international organizations. If a country wants to establish closer ties with the SCO, such moves would only be welcomed.”

The summit also granted Turkey’s request to give it the status of dialogue partner in the Shanghai Organization. The other countries that already had this status are Belarus and Sri Lanka.

“The global influence of the Shanghai Organization is obviously growing,” Russian political analyst Stanislav Tarasov says. “In fact, we are seeing the emergence of another strong “pole” in a multi-polar world. Today, one can hardly deny that the influence of the East in the world is increasing.”

The members of the Shanghai Organization have a common approach to one of the most burning problems of today – the civil wars engulfing the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. They believe that no foreign power has the right to interfere in these conflicts by force.

Summit participants issued a statement expressing support for the efforts made by the UN Security Council to end the Syrian conflict. They believe there could only be one way to settle this conflict: when both the Syrian government and all the opposition groups agree to lay down arms and engage in a dialogue.

The summit’s participants also expressed concern about the situation around Iran, which holds an SCO observer status. They believe that any attempt to solve the Iranian problem by force could have unpredictable consequences, which could threaten security in the entire region.

Unlike some other countries, members of the Shanghai Organization believe that Iran fully realizes its responsibility as a member of the international community and can be trusted. The summit praised the efforts of international mediators to settle the Iranian problem through diplomacy.

Summit participants supported the proposal made by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to appoint Dmitry Medvedev as Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Mr. Medvedev has headed the organization’s Business Council for about 6 years.

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Xinhau News Agency
June 7, 2012

Use of force to solve Iran issue unacceptable: SCO

BEIJING: Any attempts to resolve the Iranian issue by force are unacceptable, said the heads of state of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Thursday.

Such attempts will produce unpredictable and serious consequences threatening stability and security of the region and even the world, said the leaders in the Declaration on Building a Region with Lasting Peace and Common Prosperity.

The declaration was adopted at the end of the SCO Beijing summit on Thursday.

The SCO currently has six full members – China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran is one of its observer states.

In the declaration, the SCO leaders express “deep concern over the developments surrounding Iran” and “call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and avoid remarks or actions which might further escalate confrontation.”

“All countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as the basic norms governing international relations,” the SCO leaders agreed, adding that they “stand for strict implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

The member states support the P5+1 and Iran in opening sustainable dialogue process and efforts to find a political and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and talks between relevant parties, says the declaration.

The declaration also says that the member states expect Iran “to play an important role in maintaining peace and prosperity” as a responsible member of the international community.

Iran currently was in nuclear talks with the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, known as P5+1.

The next round of talks between Iran and the six countries is scheduled to be held in Moscow from June 18-19.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Hoarsewhisperer
    June 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I found this SCO article at Global Research, who deemed it prudent to preface their version with a few words of caution about inviting NATO member, Turkey, to the conference. The invitation seems like a good idea to me, given that the ‘O’ in NATO seems to stand for Organised (by America), or Off-course, rather than Organisation.

    As a founding NATO member, one imagines that Turkey would, by now, be acutely aware that in several important ways it is treated like a second-class citizen by both NATO and the Islam-wary EU. Some of Turkey’s EU and NATO tribulations were expanded upon in Part 1 of a 3-part Asia Times article from 2007 titled Germany, the Re-engineered Ally by Axel Brot, the pseudonym adopted by a retired German defense analyst with an informed feeling for geopolitics.

    Given the bad manners of the people in charge at NATO and the EU, it won’t surprise me at all if Turkey jumps ship to join an Organisation with Co-operation in its name. And if China’s membership is any guide, there will probably be noticably more respect than Turkey has received from NATO and the EU.

  2. rosemerry
    June 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I hope the SCO can have at least some balancing force on the overbearing reach of NATO and its full spectrum dominance.

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