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MOSCOW, June 22 (Itar-Tass) - Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev met with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon on Friday, June 21, to discuss the development of cooperation in the fields of politics, regional security, trade and economy.
Mezentsev and Rakhmon discussed at length a wide range of issues on the SCO agenda, focusing on Tajikistan’s upcoming presidency in the Organisation. As SCO president, Tajikistan will seek to promote further political and economic cooperation within the Organisation and prepare fruitful meetings of the heads of state and government to be held in Dushanbe in 2014, Mezentsev told ITAR-TASS on Saturday, June 22.
Rakhmon and he also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and assistance in solving its problems, the Tajik Foreign Ministry said.
Mezentsev thanked the Tajik leadership for the invitation to visit the country and brief its president on the SCO’s plans and agenda for this year, the preparation of a summit in Bishkek, the work of the SCO Secretariat and proposals to improve it.
“Permanent SCO bodies and public associations work to implement the decisions of the heads of state, and the Organisation, which has just celebrated its 12th anniversary, shows great potential for cooperation and influence in the region,” Mezentsev said.
He also spoke about the work of the SCO Secretariat’s delegations at the Almaty ministerial conference on Afghanistan within the framework of the Istanbul process and coordinated cooperation with international organisations.
Rakhmon and Mezentsev dwelt on the fight against illegal drug trafficking in the region. The SCO Secretary-General had earlier asked the Tajik leadership to help organise a meeting at the Tajik Drug Control Agency (AKN), where he was provided with ample information about the Agency’s work and its interaction with other agencies operating under the SCO anti-narcotic strategy.
Mezentsev noted several important initiatives put forth by Tajikistan and supported by the United Nations Organisation, with which the SCO has signed a memorandum of understanding, including with regard to creating a security belt around Afghanistan.
Mezentsev also held “substantive discussions” with Tajik Foreign Minister Khamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sharif Rikhimzode, AKN Head Rustam Nazarov, and the head of the presidential centre for strategic studies, Bobokhon Makhmadov. The parties discussed Tajikistan’s possible contribution to the deepening of trade and economic cooperation, the work of the national delegation at the SCO Business Council and the Interbank Association, and the broadening of the agenda for the SCO Forum in light of the SCO strategy framework signed at the Beijing summit in 2012.
Tajikistan will assume presidency in the SCO from Kyrgyzstan this year.