MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Moscow expects Mongolia’s statue in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) where that country is an observer to be elevated, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday following talks with his Mongolian counterpart, Tsend Munkh-Orgil.
"We discussed the issue of Mongolia’s involvement in the SCO as an observer, but do hope this status will be elevated," he said. "Anyway, our Mongolian friends can presently cooperate without restrictions in implementing the SCO programs in security, energy, transport, agriculture and the regional anti-terrorist bodies."
The Russian minister also noted the parties’ close or concurring stances on the key regional and global issues. "We agreed to hold special consultations on foreign policy planning this quarter," he said. "I believe that was a very useful agreement."
Founded in 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, with a number of countries - Mongolia, Pakistan, India and Iran - granted observer status. The organization’s key objectives are strengthening stability and security over its vast area, the fight against terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking, development of economic cooperation, energy partnership, scientific and cultural cooperation.