SCO summit in Tashkent

The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) believe that terrorist acts must not only be responded to adequately, but also prevented.

"The global system of countering must be opposed to the global threat of terrorism, with the UN as the system's central core, which will be based upon regional, sub-regional and national structures. It is important to not only adequately respond to terrorists' actions, but to prevent them," says the Tashkent Declaration of the SCO member countries.

The SCO leaders expressed great concern over the new sharp outbreak of terrorism and extremism. "Different countries and regions of the world are becoming terrorists' objects. Terrorism flexibly accommodates itself to the situation, uses modern technical means, is ready to use in its interests any unsettled conflicts," the declaration reads.

The six countries' leaders voice the intention to strengthen cooperation in the security sphere.

The Declaration reads in part: "The SCO member states will strengthen cooperation in the sphere of security aimed at raising the efficiency of the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism and the protection of their common interests."

The heads of the SCO states noted the expediency of conducting joint antiterrorist exercises with participation of law enforcement bodies and special services aimed at boosting coordination in the fight with the above mentioned threats.

The authority of the SCO on the international arena, in the opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, depends on how productive the countries' steps in the fight against terrorism and in economic cooperation will be, believes Vladimir Putin.

He also called the fight against terrorism one of the main issues. "Joining regional efforts, we will be able to achieve serious results," Putin stressed.

The Russian President also noted that in the sphere of economy, the SCO countries have a vast field for joint activity. In his words, it's necessary to use the common space of SCO states for more active economic interaction.

The SCO leaders spoke for creation of the SCO Development Fund and the SCO Business Council.

The Tashkent Declaration contains the instruction to prepare relevant documents on the realization of these projects.

"Besides the already adopted and planned measures to stimulate integration processes inside the SCO, the heads of state believe it timely to start establishing the SCO Development Fund and the SCO Business Council and charge the SCO Secretariat with ensuring the preparation of relevant documents on realization of these projects as soon as possible," reads the declaration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin highly assessed the step of China who offered about $1 billion to develop trade between the SCO states.

"Today the People's Republic of China made a serious step, a good example of economic cooperation, having allocated almost $1 billion to develop trade between our countries," the Russian President said at a joint press conference after the SCO summit.

The SCO leaders spoke for completion of coordination of the plan of events on the program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation for the fall 2004 meeting of the SCO premiers.

The Tashkent Declaration notes that "the pledge of stability of the Central Asian and adjacent states' region is their forward economic development, satisfaction of vital urgent demands of the population."

In this connection, says the document, "the heads of state believe it necessary that by the regular session of the Council of the heads of state in Bishkek in fall 2004, the coordination of the plan of events to fulfill the program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation should be completed and the created four groups of experts should start working to full extent."

"It's important to envisage such system steps, whose realization supposes going over to modern forms of trade-economic cooperation and boosting trade turnover between our countries, harmonization of the normative-legal base, gradual creation of favorable conditions for free movement of goods, capitals, services and technologies," reads the declaration.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov believes that one should not make hasty decisions as regards adoption of new members to the SCO.

"My position, the opinion of China and the Russian Federation is that no hasty decisions should be made on this issue," Karimov told a press conference after the summit.

Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev believes that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization may influence the future of Afghanistan's secure development.

"Helping Afghanistan, we help ourselves, Akayev said.

He wished Afghan President Hamid Karzai successful elections scheduled for September.

In his turn, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov spoke for more active efforts on the part of the SCO in the fight against drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

"By UN data, after the beginning of the antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan, drug production increased threefold," Rakhmonov said. In his words, neighboring Tajikistan and other SCO members also suffer from this.

Afghanistan hopes for the SCO contribution in the fight against terrorism and the drug threat, and hopes cooperation with the organization will improve life in the region.

"We want to take part in the resolution of issues relating to the economy and security in the region," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said at a press conference after the summit.

"We hope to fight drug trafficking and terrorism together with the SCO," said the Afghan leader. "Afghanistan is set to this fight."

"All this will accelerate the development and improve life in the region," Karzai said, adding that certain results have been achieved in the sphere of fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.

"But the fight against terrorism is a long-term fight, we can't complete it before the year's end or the month's end," Karzai said. In his words, the country takes an active part in the international fight against terrorism, including the drug threat.

In the future, "Afghanistan sees itself at a country of transit between Europe and South Asia," Karzai said.

The SCO must achieve such a situation when terrorists and extremists will have no place to hide, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

He noted that the SCO will cooperate with all states in the fight against terrorism, including those who are loyal to this evil.

Nazarbayev said the Russian President informed SCO colleagues of the discussion at the G8 summit of the issue on the necessity to block financial sources of terrorism. "It's not by chance that this issue was on the agenda of the G8. Vladimir Putin said uncontrolled, free money contributes to terrorism," Nazarbayev said.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team