BEIJING, June 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived on a visit to China. Here he will hold a number of meetings within the framework of bilateral contacts and will take part in a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The Russian leader will begin his two-day stay in Beijing with a state visit, his first one to this country after taking office on May 7. A state visit is the highest-rank visit in the diplomatic protocol and includes, along with business talks proper, a big number of protocol events. That is why Russian leaders use such format not very often. At the same time, the Kremlin notes, a state visit testifies to the highest degree of friendly relations and a sign of respect hosts may offer to the invited party.
After the state visit, the Russian president will take part in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an international organization, was founded in 2001 by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan enjoy the observer status, and representatives from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan take part in SCO meetings as guests. Belarus and Sri Lanka have the status of dialogue partners. On May 11, 2012, foreign ministers from the SCO member countries decided to propose SCO heads of state to consider granting the dialogue partner status to Turkey, and the observer status to Afghanistan.
“Putin is making a wide use of multi-party formats to hold bilateral talks. That is why in the framework of the SCO summit in Beijing, he plans two very important meetings with really important people – Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad,” said presidential aide Yuri Ushakov.
After the Chinese visit, the Russian president will leave for on official visit to Kazakhstan on June 7.