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SCO accords with realities of 21st century: Lavrov

2014-09-11 13:32 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) fully corresponds to realities of the 21st century, Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

"The SCO has already become an authoritative association and a tangible factor in the formation of a new poly-centric international system," Lavrov said in an article published in government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The SCO fully corresponds to the realities and requirements of the 21st century by following many principles, such as the consistent adherence to the United Nations Charter and basic international legal norms, the principles of equality and mutual respect and consideration for other countries' interests, Lavrov said.

"These principles accord with the tasks of ensuring a steady and democratic character of present international relations," he said.

"Tangible results can be seen in ensuring security and strengthening multi-aspect political, economic and humanitarian cooperation among SCO's member countries," Lavrov said, adding that the international and regional position of the SCO rises as a consequence.

The minister stressed that regional security remains an invariable priority of the SCO, including promotion of the joint struggle against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, especially against the backdrop of the degrading situation in Afghanistan.

"The SCO doesn't mean to establish a military-political alliance," the minster said. "Its fundamental principle is to prevent illegal actions violating the interests of member states."

Also on Wednesday, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said the 14th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO member states on Thursday and Friday will discuss situation in Afghanistan in particular and global security issues in general.

The official said the SCO leaders planned to work out their consolidated position on turning Afghanistan into an "independent, neutral, peaceful state," the Interfax news agency reported.

According to Ushakov, the SCO summit is to proceed with discussion of the Russian proposal to transform the Tashkent-based SCO's anti-terrorism structure into the universal center for countering security threats and challenges.

The upcoming summit in Tajik capital Dushanbe is expected to set up working groups on fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, the aide said.

Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO consists of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers. Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

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