BEIJING, November 10 /TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) states want to enhance cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov told ASEAN states' ambassadors at a meeting on Thursday.
"The increasing role of regional organizations and their growing influence in global geopolitical issues objectively reflect an interdependency trend in globalization and a regionalization in the current stage of international relations," Alimov told TASS after the meeting.
"ASEAN is the leading structure in the Asia-Pacific region. The SCO, by general recognition, is the leader in the East Eurasian space," the SCO secretary general stressed.
He noted several priority areas where the SCO and ASEAN can work closely together: the war on terror and transnational crime; drug trafficking and weapons smuggling; money laundering and illegal migration; cooperation in economic and financial spheres as well as on environmental protection.
"The SCO member states want to keep on cooperating with ASEAN in light of the present-day realities," Alimov said, adding that a renewed draft of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations’ secretariats was ready. He believes that the document could be signed at the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 9, 2017 if conditions are favorable.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) consists of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. At present, 18 states have an observer status at SCO, which is headquartered in Beijing.