Wednesday, June 06, 2012 -
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization focused on security issues in Afghanistan and the region at the start of its two-day annual meeting in the Chinese capital Beijing on Wednesday.
“We will continue to manage regional affairs by ourselves, guarding against shocks from turbulence outside the region, and will play a bigger role in Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction,” the People’s Daily quoted Chinese President Hu Jintao as saying.
“We’ll strengthen communication, coordination, and cooperation in dealing with major international and regional issues,” he added.
The agreement to focus on Afghan post-withdrawal security was heralded by all participant states of the summit, which include Russia, China, and four Central Asian republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed the Chinese leader’s comments, also in the People’s Daily.
“The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is building institutions to guaranty the stability and safety the length and breadth of Eurasia,” he wrote.
“Strengthening political cooperation within the framework of the SCO must also strengthen cooperation in the economic sphere.”
However, the SCO’s involvement in Afghanistan after NATO withdraws foreign troops by the end of 2014 is still unclear as no set policy has emerged at the summit.
The security organization is expected to announce that Afghanistan will join the SCO as an observer organization during the summit.
Member states of the SCO also signed a joint declaration declaring their intent to combat the three forces of terrorism, separatism, and extremism in the 2013-2015 period.