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SCO FMs back coordinating convention on fighting extremism — ministry

May 24, 2016, 17:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The SCO foreign ministers confirmed that coordinating and holding events to jointly counter terrorism will remain among priority tasks of cooperation in the framework of the Organization

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MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. The foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries have spoken in favor of continuing work on SCO’s convention on fighting extremism, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"The ministers confirmed that in accordance with provisions of the Charter and other SCO documents, coordinating and holding events to jointly counter terrorism separatism, extremism in all forms, illegal production and trafficking of drugs, trans-border organized crime, crimes with use of modern information technologies, illegal migration and human trafficking, illegally trading arms, ammunition and explosives, distribution of weapons of mass destruction and equipment for its delivery, will remain among priority tasks of cooperation in the framework of the Organization," the foreign ministry said after the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO member countries.

The foreign ministers stressed the importance of "continuing work, in accordance with the decision of the Council of Heads of State of SCO from 10 July 2015, to prepare the SCO Convention on fighting extremism, which will facilitate strengthening the legal base in this sphere together with the Shanghai Convention on fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism, and the Program of cooperation of SCO member countries in fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2016-2018," the ministry noted.

"The ministers noted the importance of close cooperation on issues of disarmament and arms control, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and peaceful use of nuclear energy. They think that soonest ratification of the Protocol on security guarantees to the Agreement on the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in Central Asia by each side, will make a considerable contribution to strengthening the global regime of nuclear non-proliferation," the foreign ministry added.

The Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO member countries meets today in Tashkent. In 2016, Uzbekistan chairs the organization, and the SCO summit will be held in Tashkent on June 23-24.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent regional international association, the establishment of which 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 start 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.

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