SCO to improve counter-terrorism ability, deepen security cooperation » Manila Bulletin News

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By People’s Daily 

Security cooperation is believed to be a dominant agenda of the two-day-long 17th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of State starting on Thursday in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Astana.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization | credit People’s Daily | Manila Bulletin

The meeting came as terrorism has posed threats to every country in the world, given the ever-changing international vicissitudes. As a result, a closer international cooperation to fight terrorism is required.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, before he kicked off his Kazakh trip, published a signed article in the Kazakh newspaper Aikyn Gazeti on Wednesday under the title “May China-Kazakhstan Relationship Fly High Toward Our Shared Aspirations”.

In the article, he said that the SCO finds security cooperation extremely important and that SCO has put in place cooperation mechanisms on combating terrorism, separatism, extremism, drugs and transnational crimes.

He stressed that the member states have held joint counter-terrorism drills on a regular basis, and worked actively to address hot spot issues, adding that all these efforts have helped to maintain regional security and stability.

The SCO has listed the fight against terrorism, separatism, and extremism as its aim and major task. The organization has always played an important role in safeguarding regional peace, security and stability, which also helps promote the Belt and Road construction.

Xi called on the organization to deepen security cooperation, implement the vision for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, combat terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organized crimes according to law and to jointly safeguard the cyber security.

In addition, it will put in place bilateral security mechanisms for the Belt and Road cooperation to ensure the security of the oil and gas pipelines and other large cooperation projects undertaken by China and Kazakhstan, and protect the legitimate rights and interests and the personal and property safety of their citizens and companies, Xi added.

Under the current international pattern with increasingly complicated and serious counter-terrorism situation, the demand for security has become particularly urgent for any country and region.

All countries across the world, against such background, are seeking for closer international cooperation. The security collaboration, as a “wheel” driving the SCO development, will be highlighted during the summit.

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai announced in a Monday press briefing that Xi and other heads of SCO members would sign and publish the Astana Declaration, would issue press communiqué, and would adopt an anti-extremism convention during the summit held in Astana.

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, a standing body of the SCO based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, has made significant achievements in terms of both mechanism and cooperation. Fruitful results have been achieved by each member state in fighting against terrorism, separatism, and extremism.

The cooperation has also been extended to the fields of law-enforcement security, information security, drug control and the fight against transnational organized crimes.

In addition, SCO members have held multiple military drills to enhance cooperation, thus deterring terrorism from further expanding.

The SCO has embraced two new members, namely India and Pakistan, at the summit. The organization’s ability to combat international terrorism will be improved after their participation, said Morgulov Igor Vladimirovich, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

The SCO is of great significance in the sharing of intelligence and experience of counter-terrorism actions among the member states, tackling international terrorism and cooperating to deter its spread.

Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao said that having gained the membership of India and Pakistan will help the organization conduct better anti-terrorism cooperation through intelligence sharing.

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