Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on Saturday said the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have gained significant fruits in pushing forward the construction of the organization as well as cooperation among its member nations.
Tang and his five counterparts from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan gathered here Saturday for discussions of the SCO's construction and a series of international and regional issues. Stressing mechanism construction as a current focus for SCO, Tang said the preparation work for creating a secretariat had entered the key stage under the joint efforts of coordinators and experts from the six countries. China would like to complete the drafting of relevant documents before next year's SCO summit and try to officially open the secretariat after the summit, he said.
Tang said the SCO still faces a very stern anti-terrorism fight, citing last month's hostage crisis in Moscow. The fact that the terrorist attack was masterminded by national separatists and regional extremists again demonstrated the necessity and correctness of the unremitting efforts in cracking down on the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, he stressed.
The minister urged all SCO members to deepen and expand security cooperation by adopting deals on jointly fighting against the "three forces" and terrorist organizations and by creating a regional anti-terrorist organization in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek as soon as possible. Tang said China appreciated and supported some Central Asian countries' proposal on enhancing anti-drug cooperation, signing multilateral anti-drug cooperation pact and listing the work as one of the top tasks of regional anti-terrorist organization.
He said economic cooperation is a key area for cooperation between the SCO members. To gain substantial benefits from economic and trade cooperation, all member states should strengthen political common sense over the issue, regard it as a strategic problem that could largely affect regional security and the SCO's development, he said.
Noting a changing and complex world situation, Tang said the common and pressing task of all SCO members is to cope with threats from untraditional security spheres, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, weapons smuggle, transnational monetary crimes.
He said, peace and development still dominate the current age as the general situation of the world is stable and the economy is developing forward in waves.
The international community was watching closely at the organization, as more and more countries and international organizations were willing to conduct dialogues and cooperation with the organization, Tang said.
The SCO should further enhance the exchange and cooperation with other parties through wider eyeshot and a more positive post, which could not only strengthen its international influence but also reflect its principles of "no alignment," "not against a third party" and "opening-up," he said.
Saturday's meeting will pass a temporary pact on SCO's foreign policies, which would officially start the organizations' exchange activities with others, and thus promote the "Shanghai Spirit" of "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, cooperation, respect multi culture and seek common development," he said.
Xinhua, November 23, 2002