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MOSCOW, April 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia intends to advance international co-operation with China in combating terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview to the China Daily newspaper.
“The Counter-Terrorism Working Group is an important element of Russian-Chinese security dialogue,” the Russian foreign minister said. The group hold meetings at least once a year, its next meeting is planned to be held in China in the second half of this year. “The agenda includes issues of combating terrorism, illegal production and sale of drugs, transnational organised crime, money laundering, as well as the issues related to ensuring international information security,” Lavrov said.
Russia, according to the minister, attaches major importance to joint work with China in this sphere and within the framework of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), which is being established today as an optimal venue for interaction on the Afghan track. The Russian foreign minister said that Russia jointly with China sought to transform the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) into a new multifunctional mechanism the task of which would be complex counteraction to challenges and threats to security of the SCO member states. Such threats are expected to grow, in particular, in connection with the forthcoming withdrawal of the main part of the international forces from Afghanistan, Lavrov believes.
He added that the agenda of the manoeuvres organised by the SCO member states’ Defence Ministries includes the strengthening of co-ordination in responding to terrorism threats. This year, the Peace Mission 2014 manoeuvres will be held in China.