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Summit Shows SCO Can Oppose Any External Intervention In Other Countries’ Affairs

Voice of Russia
September 14, 2013

Summit shows SСO can oppose to any interference in other countries’ affairs
Anna Forostenko

The Kyrgyz capital Bishkek played host to another Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on Friday, September 13. Syria featured prominently on the agenda of the summit in Bishkek.

SCO is a unique organization in terms of international cooperation; it is neither a military alliance, nor an instrument to ensure exclusively economic integration. It was set up in 2001 by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The organization has since proved itself as a good venue for settling stability, security and economic development problems throughout the SCO area.

Syria featured prominently on the agenda of the 13th SCO summit in Bishkek. Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the summit meeting that efforts to settle the problem have already yielded some results.

“The recent diplomatic efforts, Vladimir Putin says, have made it possible to fend off the threat of an immediate military operation. In this context, the proposal to promote the idea of international control over Syria’s war chemicals is of paramount importance.”

All SCO member-nations came out for an exclusively peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict and supported Russia’s efforts to that end, which was reflected in the Bishkek declaration, says the Head of the Chair of School of Oriental Studies, State University “Higher School of Economics”, Alexei Maslov, and elaborates.

“This is evidence that the huge alliance, the SCO, is opposed to any interference in other countries’ affairs. That stand defies the US position and that of some of Washington’s allies.

The brewing conflict in Afghanistan was another issue that the summit members addressed during their meeting. The countries neighbouring on Afghanistan are anxiously waiting for the arrival of next year. They are not certain that the National Army will be able to enforce albeit a relative order when the US troops pull out. Vladimir Putin spoke positively of the Afghan authorities’ efforts.

“Our compliments to the Afghan government efforts to advance the process of national reconciliation, as well as to prepare the 2014 presidential election,” Vladimir Putin says.

The Bishkek declaration also outlines the SCO countries’ position on the situation in Iran, North Korea, as well as the problem of deploying antimissile missiles in Europe. The summit’s economic agenda was based on two key initiatives, namely the Russian proposal to set up a Development Fund, or an SCO special-purpose account, and China’s suggestion that the SCO should set up a bank for the development of the organization. The Russian leader commented on the role of this kind of bank.

“The performance of the SCO inter-bank Association is a positive example of multilateral cooperation. The alliance has been effectively supporting joint infrastructure projects, the introduction of resource-efficient technologies, and promoting the use of national currencies for clearing accounts,” Vladimir Putin said.

The forum then took up transport cooperation. The discussion of setting up an Energy Club involved officials of the SCO member-states, those that are partners in dialogue, and observer states. The Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council, Sergei Kanavsky, said that…

“The summit results prove that economic cooperation is steadily on the increase.”

The participants in the SCO summit also focused on education programmes. Azhdar Kurtov, an expert with the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, feels that the summit proved that SCO is viable, and elaborates.

“The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Azhdar Kurtov says, has proved successful in boosting prestige, accumulating experience and implementing specific plans and projects in the various fields of cooperation. But, perhaps, the most important thing about SCO is that no member-state thinks of quitting the organization. This is evidence that the member-nations see SCO as an effective organization.”

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