Tashkent to host next SCO summit in late May-June 2004

Tashkent is to host a regular summit involving the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's countries in late May-June 2004. This regional organization comprises Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The decision to hold the summit was adopted September 23 by the Council of Heads of Government of the Organization's member-countries, Vitaly Vorobiev, who serves as the Russian President's special envoy, told correspondents.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's Prime Ministers are to meet once again in Bishkek next fall, Vorobiev added.

We have signed a number of documents today, thus turning the Organization into a full-fledged structure; we must now move to implement practical actions, Vorobiev stressed.

The Organization's permanent Secretariat is to start functioning in Beijing not later than January 1, 2004, Vorobiev reminded his audience. Moreover, the headquarters of the regional anti-terrorist organization would begin to operate in Tashkent. On September 23 the Organization's Prime Ministers signed documents enabling these bodies to fulfil simple functions starting with November 1, 2003.

Several major international documents are to be concluded within the Organization's framework before the year is out, Vorobiev told those present. The list of such documents includes an agreement on jointly coping with illicit drug trafficking, as well as two agreements, which have something to do with the work of the regional anti-terrorist structure, Vorobiev said in conclusion.

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