SCO contributes greatly to regional security, says Tajik expert

12/09/2014 12:50
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DUSHANBE, September 12, 2014, Asia-Plus -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has made great contributions to regional security in the last decade, a Tajik expert said as an SCO summit is being held in Dushanbe.

The fight against the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism is an important part of the cooperation under the framework of the SCO, Khudoberdi Kholiqnazar, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, told Xinhua.

With the coordination of the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure of the SCO established 10 years ago, the SCO member countries have prevented almost 1,000 terrorist attempts and arrested about 650 terrorist suspects, while many extremist groups banned by the SCO have been uprooted, said Kholiqnazar.

Those extremist groups, which originated from Arab countries, have infiltrated the SCO and triggered social insecurity.  Thus, the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure is of great value to the SCO, the expert said.

As the regional situation changes, especially against the context of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan, the anti-terrorism situation in Central Asia will become more complicated, he said, adding that the SCO faces a more strenuous task to safeguard regional security.

Tajik think tank head suggested giving more power to the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure in order to tackle new terrorist problems.

Afghanistan remains a big challenge for the SCO as instability in the country directly affects regional security, he said.  More SCO member countries are positively involved in solving the Afghanistan problem and in helping the country overcome economic difficulties, said Kholiqnazar.

Kholiqnazar said the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, established in November 2005, has become a platform to help Afghanistan with reconstruction and other problems. Afghanistan became an SCO observer in 2012.

Tajikistan has sent engineering and education experts to Afghanistan and has been trying to promote border trade, he said.  As a neighbor of Afghanistan, Tajikistan is ready to help with communication between Afghanistan and the SCO in the future as Tajik is also spoken in Afghanistan, Kholiqnazar said.


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