MOSCOW, May 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday leaves for an official visit to China, where he plans to meet with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and Vice President Xi Jinping. The program of the visit also includes participation in a meet of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
“One of the key tasks of Lavrov’s visit is to prepare a state visit to China by Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Lavrov also plans to take part in the reopening ceremony [after an overhaul] of the museum of the history of liberation of China’s north-eastern provinces by the Soviet Army in the town Lii-shun-kou, or Port Arthur.”
Apart from that, it is planned to square the schedule of other top-level bilateral contacts. “Traditionally, heads of state may meet on the sidelines of various international forums, first of all, an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok this September,” the ministry went on. “In the autumn, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Russia, and the 17th regular meeting of the two countries’ heads of government will then be held. It will be preceded by meetings of intergovernmental commissions for preparation of regular meetings of heads of state, for humanitarian cooperation, the Russian-Chinese energy dialogue at the deputy prime ministers’ level, and several dozens of subcomissions and working groups.”
It is also planned to discuss a wide range of pressing global and regional problems. “The ministers will discuss the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, including in Syria. They will continue their dialogue on an entire spectrum of issues linked with the Iranian nuclear program and the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Russia and China have similar or identical approaches on the majority of international problems and want to coordinate their positions tightly.”
Apart from that, the Russian foreign minister will raise issues of the “preparation for a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) due in Beijing on May 11, and issues of cooperation within this organization in general,” the ministry noted. “The sides believe that the SCO has become a key factor of economic development and strengthening security in Central Asia.”
“In the focus of attention there will be issues of the preparation for a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization due to be held in the Chinese capital on June 6 through June 7, 2012,” the ministry said. “The ministers will consider draft documents and decisions to be discussed at the Beijing summit.”
“These documents will include a draft Declaration of the SCO member states. It gives an assessment of global processes and reflects the positions of the member countries on pressing international and regional problems,” the ministry said.
“Special attention will be focused on the Asia-Pacific region, to integration processes, including within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, to the formation of a new regional security architecture, and to problems that might impact the situation in this part of the world,” the ministry added.