Kyrgyz foreign minister, Askar Aitmatov, participated in a meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, today. Foreign ministers of the SCO member-states had talks on preparation of a forthcoming summit of the group leaders in Moscow in May 28-29.
The ministers of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan said in a final communique that the summit "will give an additional impetus to cooperation, primarily in the economic sphere."
The ministers also said that the United Nations should play "an important role" in the post-war restoration of Iraq.
Aitmatov told the meeting that "the threat coming from Afghanistan has significantly reduced but the situation is far from complete stabilization." He urged international community to draw more attention to problems of post-Taliban Afghanistan.
The ministers said the Shanghai group is ready to "pool efforts with other countries" and international organizations to ensure security and cooperation in various areas. The ministers also pledged to continue fighting international terrorism and illegal drug trafficking.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- named for the Chinese city in which the group was founded -- is a regional security body comprised of China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
RFE/RL Kyrgyz News, April 29, 2003