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Putin, Xi urge stronger ties within security bloc
September 13, 2014, 4:27 am

The SCO Council of Heads of State met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 12 September 2014 [PPIO]

The SCO Council of Heads of State met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 12 September 2014 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have said members of the Russia-China-led SCO share identical views on economic and political cooperation, including the Ukraine crisis and subsequent sanctions.

“At the meeting in narrow format we discussed some other current international affairs too, including the situation in Ukraine. We are very pleased to see that we share identical or similar views on the main areas of cooperation. This consensus of views is reflected in the Dushanbe Declaration that we are adopting,” said Putin.

As the US and EU step up pressure on Moscow with a new round of sanctions, Russia is seeking to strengthen ties with allies in the region, predominantly the SCO members.

Putin on Friday also warned against complacency regarding the global economy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Thursday said global growth is unlikely to pick up significantly this year.

“The global economy has not yet overcome the crisis and its problems, and the current political risks and various restrictions and barriers are only worsening the situation, causing direct damage to the global business climate and undermining confidence in international trade and the financial system,” said Putin.

SCO members will improve cooperation on security in food, transport, energy and finances, asserted the Russian President.

“We see great potential in the idea of developing a common SCO transport system that would make use too of Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway and Baikal-Amur Mainline and be tied into China’s plans for developing the Silk Road route. I am sure that big projects of this kind serve the interests of our organisation’s members and would benefit all countries in Eurasia.

Meanwhile, in Dushanbe, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called for joint efforts to fight extremism and internet terrorism among the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

“Currently, (we) should focus on combating religion-involved extremism and internet terrorism,” said Xi when delivering a speech at the 14th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.

He suggested the SCO members launch consultations on an anti-extremism convention and initiate studies on “a mechanism for actions against internet terrorism”.

“(We) should take it as our own responsibility to safeguard regional security and stability, enhance our ability to maintain stability, continue to boost cooperation on law enforcement and security, and improve the existing cooperation mechanisms,” said Xi.

The president also called on the SCO members — China, Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — to urgently grant the group’s Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure (RCTS) new functions to combat drug trafficking.

“(We) should make concerted efforts to crack down on the ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, extremism and separatism,” Xi said.

The presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and China signed a package of agreements following the summit. The documents signed include the Dushanbe Declaration.

Russia takes over as acting chair of the organization and will host the next SCO leaders summit in 2015 in Ufa.


TBP and Agencies

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