ASTANA, June 7. /TASS/. Defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states have commended Russia’s Syrian operation as effective, said a joint communique adopted at the ministers’ meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana.
"The defense ministers pointed to the effective efforts being made by the Russian Aerospace Force in the fight against the ISIL (also known as Daesh and the Islamic State) and Jabhat al-Nusra terror groups (both outlawed in Russia - TASS), active in Syria," the communique reads.
The meeting’s participants also commended the steps aimed at achieving a ceasefire in Syria, improving the ceasefire monitoring mechanism and providing humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
The ministers welcomed Kazakhstan’s role in steering the Syrian crisis into the path of political settlement, as Astana provided a platform for meetings on Syria in addition to the Geneva talks sponsored by the United Nations.
The meeting’s participants "expressed support for the coordination between the SCO defense ministries taking into account the accession of new members." Besides, the document says that new countries’ participation in military cooperation "will help enhance mutual confidence between the member states."
During the Astana meeting, the defense ministers adopted a cooperation plan for 2018-2019 and signed a protocol of intentions.
According to the communique, the next meeting of the SCO member states defense ministers will take place in China in 2018.