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SCO, SAARC must jointly fight terror: Afghan President
September 12, 2014, 9:36 am

The Afghan President has often criticised the conduct of the NATO forces in the country's crisis [Xinhua]

The Afghan President has often criticised the conduct of the NATO forces in the country’s crisis [Xinhua]

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said on Friday his country would like to join hands with the Russia-China-led SCO to fight terrorism.

“I propose that the SCO and the SAARC join hands in fighting terrorism and radicalism. We wish to see more trade & economic cooperation within the SCO region,” Karzai told a meeting of SCO countries’ leaders on Friday.

China, Russia and four Central Asian nations – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – formed the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc to fight terror threats and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan. South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) groups groups Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“An effective peace process would not only be in the interest of Afghanistan’s security but that of our collective region,” Karzai said on Friday.

“Afghanistan is ready to fully cooperate with SCO and its regional anti-terrorism structures,” he added.

Cooperation between China and Russia on Afghanistan has been growing since 2013 and could become a major factor for Afghan leadership following a US withdrawal.

Earlier this week, Karzai condemned the death of 14 people, mostly civilians, killed in US air strikes in Afghanistan. The Afghan President has often criticised the conduct of the NATO forces in the country’s crisis.

Karzai arrived in Dushanbe the capital city of Tajikistan on Thursday to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit. The Afghan President is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his Russian and Chinese counterparts Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to discuss peace and security in the region.

Observer states at the SCO are Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan. Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka have a status of partners in dialogue.

Kremlin spokesperson Yuri Ushakov has indicated on Friday India and Pakistan could be granted full-fledged membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at its next summit in Russia’s Ufa in July 2015.

The next SCO summit will be held in Russia’s city of Ufa on July 9-10, 2015 along with the 7th BRICS Summit.

 

TBP 

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