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SCO summit to enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation: ambassador

2014-09-11 09:29 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

The upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will boost cooperation in the three major fields of economy, security and people-to-people exchanges, the Chinese ambassador to Tajikistan has said.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Fan Xianrong said that the SCO has become an important platform for maintaining regional peace and stability after years of development, with continued expansion of cooperation among members in various fields including economy, security and people-to-people exchanges.

All member states have a consensus that the SCO should keep expanding itself, promote mutual trust and enrich the content of cooperation. Promoting further development of the SCO serves the interests of all parties, which lays foundation for overcoming all difficulties, Fan noted.

Fan said that security is among the top issues for SCO members. All the parties have reached a high degree of consensus on fighting the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism, as well as on safeguarding regional peace and security.

Afghanistan is one of the issues that the SCO members are highly concerned about, as many of the members share common borders with Afghanistan, and are highly vulnerable to impacts of the situation in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is one of the observers to the SCO, having cooperation with all member states in bilateral and multilateral domains.

According to Fan, SCO members are determined to turn Afghanistan into a country with genuine peace, stability and development, and make concerted efforts with international community in this endeavor.

Within the framework of the SCO, there is an exclusive agency intended to solve the issue of Afghanistan, which annually holds forums, consultations, etc on settlement of the issue of Afghanistan. This year, China will host the Afghanistan Istanbul Process Foreign Ministers' Meeting in northern Chinese city of Tianjin.

Fan said a total of 18 delegations will attend the upcoming Dushanbe summit of the SCO at a high level and with extensive coverage, which shows that the regional and international prestige of Tajikistan is on the rise.

At the summit, all member states will sign documents on cooperation in the fields of economy, security and people-to-people exchanges, and also important deals on admission of new members. The legal basis for conventions of the SCO will also be further improved.

Tajikistan has made tremendous efforts to host the forthcoming summit of the SCO. So far, roads in Dushanbe have been revamped while execution of projects of afforestation is busy underway, Fan pointed out.

China and Tajikistan are neighbors connected by mountains and rivers, and bilateral relations have been in a sound momentum of development over recent years.

In May 2013, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon paid a state visit to China. During the visit, the heads of state of China and Tajikistan announced the establishment of strategic partnership between the two countries, prompting bilateral relationship to enter a new historical period of development.

Fan said for more than a year, cooperation between China and Tajikistan has developed very rapidly, with the launch of many important projects in the fields of economy, trade, investment, industry, agriculture and education.

China-Tajikistan friendly cooperation is based on mutual benefit and common development. Chinese investment in Tajikistan has yielded significant social benefits and has created a large number of jobs, which gives strong impetus to the development of the local economy, Fan noted.

Fan said that Chinese President Xi Jinping's forthcoming visit to Tajikistan -- his first to the country -- will be of great significance.

During the visit, Xi and Rakhmon will attend the start-of-construction ceremony for the land route of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline, which will play an important role in China's energy security.

Fan told Xinhua that as China and Tajikistan are neighbors connected by mountains and rivers, the flow of human resources between the two countries is relatively convenient. Over recent years, exchanges between China and Tajikistan have kept expanding, with great progress made in the field of people-to-people exchanges, he said.

Tajik people's understanding of China has kept deepening while friendship between the two peoples has developed in an in-depth way, which is well illustrated in the development of a "Mandarin fever" in Tajikistan over recent years. Mutual understanding between the two peoples serves as a solid foundation for further cooperation, Fan added.

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