Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ninth SCO Summit matures regional commitment to international cooperation

MOSCOW. (Alexei Vlasov, director of Moscow State University’s Center for the Study of Political Processes in the post-Soviet Space, a member of the RIA Novosti Expert Council) – A summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has ended in Yekaterinburg, adopted decisions that can seriously influence the organization’s future.

The SCO was initially known as the Shanghai Five, a group set up by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Shanghai in 1996 to promote trans-border cooperation. After Uzbekistan joined the group in 2001, the organization addressed regional security issues.

Since then, the SCO has become an influential international organization focusing on global issues, from energy security to educational, social and cultural cooperation.

This unique organization is guided by the so-called “Shanghai Spirit,” one of resistance to any form of confrontation, hostile competition and disregard of each other’s interests.

More and more countries are keen on joining it, above all Iran, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended the extended meeting of the SCO leaders despite the complicated political situation in his homeland. Ahmadinejad spoke at the meeting about the SCO’s role in resolving economic problems and positive changes in all spheres of its operation...[Story continued here]

Photo: RIA Novosti

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