Russia expects concrete results from SCO meeting

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

MOSCOW – Russia expects the upcoming prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to make substantial achievements and enhance cooperation among its members in finance and infrastructure construction, a Russian expert said.Alexander Lukin, director of the Center for East Asia and SCO Studies at Moscow State University for International Relations, made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua ahead of the 11th SCO prime ministers’ meeting, which is due to open Tuesday in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.Lukin said that within the SCO framework, leaders of the member states have held regular meetings to discuss economic and trade cooperation, exchanged views on regional development and approved a series of documents.However, since its founding in Shanghai in 2001, the lack of a financing mechanism has hindered the economic cooperation among SCO members, the expert said.”It would be perfect if the leaders come to an agreement on conducting a multi-financing mechanism during the meeting,” Lukin said.Meanwhile, he said strengthening cooperation in infrastructure construction is conducive to the development of the organization.Taking account of the situation in Central Asia, Lukin said, only stable economy and infrastructure development could help the region realize political stability.The construction of bridges, roads and other influential infrastructure within the framework of the organization would bring considerable benefits to the peoples of the member states, he added.”Therefore, Russia expects that during their meeting, the prime ministers would reach a consensus on the issue, so as to enhance the reputation of the organization among the peoples in the region,” he said.The expert noted that in recent years, the SCO member states have made impressive achievements in security cooperation, which is valued as one of the wheels of the organization.”The SCO countries conducted regular joint military drills, cooperated with each other in sharing terrorist information and achieved progress in drug-fighting,” he said.At the meeting, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will explain China’s policy proposals on deepening pragmatic cooperation within the SCO, and formulate concrete measures with other prime ministers on enhancing economic, people-to-people and cultural cooperation.The SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are the five observers, and Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey are dialogue partners.

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