BEIJING, December 7. /TASS/. The annual meeting of defense officials from member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has finished in the Chinese city of Sanya, Chinese media reported on Monday.
The meeting on December 5-7 focused on discussing the results of cooperation in the spheres of defense and security in 2015. The defense officials also agreed on main goals for the future. The countries agreed to continue maintaining inter-departmental contacts at the high level, implement security projects, and hold joint drills.
The participants in the meeting said that in the circumstances of constantly changing international situation and developments that threaten global security, the issues of cooperation between SCO defense ministries are especially important. SCO member countries should step up joint efforts and better coordinate them, improve forms of cooperation in security at the level of defense ministries of the organization.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent regional international association, whose establishment was announced on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai. The organization brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
During the SCO summit in Ufa on July 9 and July 10 the beginning of the admission procedure for India and Pakistan was announced. The leaders of the SCO member-countries also decided to grant Belarus observer status, while Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal became dialogue partners.
SCO priority spheres include joint fight against terrorism and extremism, cooperation in the spheres of education, energy, transport, and telecommunications. The total population of SCO countries is almost 1.6 billion people, and the total GDP of the member countries is $11.6 trillion.