Friday, May 11, 2012 -
Central Asian states and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) agreed Friday to hasten the creation of a special account and development bank.
That intention was announced by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi following a meeting of counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia as they gathered in Beijing.
The primary aim of the SCO lender is to bolster members’ capability to handle new challenges and threats, the Xinhua news agency reported the Chinese minister as saying at a news conference.
It is expected that the bank will enhance the six SCO members’ capacity to cope with potential financial, energy, and food insecurities.
The foreign ministers also agreed that their intergovernmental security grouping needs to improve its crisis warning and emergency management abilities.
The SCO, also known as the Shanghai Pact, plans to expand its size over the next few years by accepting new members. Observer status is currently held by Iran, India, Pakistan, and Mongolia. Its dialogue partners are Sri Lanka and Belarus.
Yang said the leaders of member countries will ink a package of deals at the scheduled SCO summit in the Chinese capital next month.
The foreign ministers are currently preparing for the summit and formulating the cooperation agreements in a raft of areas ranging from security, economy, and culture, to politics.