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SCO chief urges Central Asian states to boost cooperation

November 10, 2017, 9:48 UTC+3 SAMARKAND

On June 9, 2017 India and Pakistan became full-fledged members of the SCO

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SAMARKAND/Uzbekistan/, November 10. /TASS/. Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Rashid Alimov has called on the Central Asian states to coordinate efforts aimed at cooperating to ensure joint sustainable development.

He addressed an international conference in Samarkand, Uzbekistan’s third largest city, "Central Asia: One Past and a Common Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Mutual Prosperity." The conference is held at the initiative of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and involves representatives of Central Asia’s states and international organizations, a TASS correspondent reported.

"Further coordination of international, regional and national efforts focused on cooperation for ensuring joint sustainable development, based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, will open new broad prospects for the Central Asian countries for investing in infrastructure, transport, communications, trade in goods and services," Alimov said.

"Today, the SCO region of responsibility, which now includes India and Pakistan, is a quarter of the globe’s entire land surface and almost half of the planet’s population," he said, noting that major economic initiatives are being implemented and new unique opportunities for investors and businesses open up in the region.

"The Central Asian states play an important and sometimes key role in these processes," Alimov stressed.

According to the SCO chief, geographical proximity, good neighborly relations, economic interdependency of the organization’s member-states contribute to the implementation of promising projects on developing infrastructure, transport and communications.

For the Central Asian states, which have no access to the sea, the SCO agreement on creating favorable conditions for international car shipping opens up new transit and transport opportunities, he said. The newly-created system of transport routes will ensure the flow of goods both in Eurasia and also to Europe and the Southeast Asia states.

"Obviously, this will actively boost trade and economic cooperation on the entire Eurasian space," the SCO chief said.

The Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was inked in China’s Shanghai in June 2001 by six founding states - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. On June 9, 2017 India and Pakistan became full-fledged members of the SCO.

Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.

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