Moscow to host Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit

On Wednesday in Moscow a two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization opens, involving the Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, as well as President Hu Jintao of the People's republic of China (PRC).

The six leaders are to meet each other in an informal setting May 28th, Sergei Prikhodko, deputy chief of the Russian President's administration, noted. Meanwhile the official summit is to take place May 29th.

Russia, rather than Kazakhstan, is now hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's summit. However, this circumstance won't influence the functions of this organization's chairman, i.e. President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, in any way, Prikhodko noted.

The current summit heralds a switch-over from the organizational stage of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's development to its evolution into a full-fledged international organization.

We are switching over from the settlement of border-line and military-political issues to more close-knit cooperation as regards current issues of international cooperation between the organization's member-countries, as well as efforts to ensure regional stability, Prikhodko stressed.

Prikhodko also voiced confidence to the effect that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will start functioning as a full-fledged international organization by January 1st, 2004.

Therefore one can say that cooperation between these six countries now has to be filled with practical content; this is seen as a top-priority task. Among other things, this concerns interaction during the struggle against new threats and challenges, as well as humanitarian and economic interaction.

The Moscow summit will become a landmark event for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an organization of a new type, Kremlin officials believe. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization wasn't established for the sake of countering any third countries; on the contrary, this organization is supposed to fight various threats, which are perceived as common threats by member-countries, Prikhodko reminded.

No observers will take part in the work of the Moscow summit. However, all the concerned countries will be informed about the summit and its results, Kremlin people said. Meanwhile such countries as India and Pakistan are interested in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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