Tajik capital hosts SCO summit

12/09/2014 11:31
Avaz Yuldoshev
Views: 6709

DUSHANBE, September 12, 2014, Asia-Plus -- A summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is being held in Dushanbe today.

The presidents of member states China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are attending the summit. 

The presidents of Iran, Mongolia, and Afghanistan are also in Dushanbe and are holding meetings on the sidelines of the summit with the heads of SCO member states.

Iran, Mongolia and Afghanistan have observer status in the SCO, as do Pakistan and India.

India is represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan is represented by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is attending the summit as an honored guest of the SCO chairman.

This year's agenda is reportedly has a heavy focus on regional security ahead of the planned drawdown of foreign forces in Afghanistan at the end of this year.  Another key topic on this year's agenda is finalizing a mechanism to accept new members.

Russia will take over the SCO presidency from Tajikistan at the end of the summit and will host the next summit in the city of Ufa next July. 

Founded by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on June 15, 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization.  Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.

The Organization currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan are five observer states.  Pakistan, Iran, India and Mongolia acquired the observer status in the SCO in 2004-2005 and Afghanistan joined them in 2012.  Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey currently have the status of dialogue partners in the SCO.

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