ASTANA, June 9. /TASS/. Some "promising moments" have emerged in the Syrian settlement and there is a real chance to consolidate truce, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana.
"Lately, promising moments have emerged in the Syrian crisis development and this is directly linked to launching a series of regular international meetings in Astana with the mediation of Russia, Turkey and Iran," Putin said.
"The most important achievement is the agreement on ceasefire between the government forces and the armed opposition, and on creating de-escalation zones in Syria. Now on this basis a real chance has emerged to consolidate ceasefire and give an impetus to the intra-Syrian negotiating process in Geneva," the Russian leader said.
SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group
Putin has proposed that the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group resume its activities.
"Just like our SCO partners, Russia stands for finding a political solution (to the Afghan conflict) through agreements made by the Afghan people," he said. "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization could take more active steps in this direction. We propose that the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, suspended in 2009, resume its activities," the Russian leader added.
Putin pointed out that the situation in Afghanistan was crucial as far as ensuring regional stability was concerned. "It is obvious that efforts to find a military solution to the domestic Afghan conflict will lead nowhere," he added.
Besides, in Putin’s words, against the background of the growing production and export of drugs "it would be reasonable to boost the SCO’s cooperation with the relevant UN agencies and other international organizations." "We all are interested in forming a broad anti-drug zone in the region," the Russian leader concluded.
The Russian president noted the growing role of the SCO’s regional anti-terror body. An important step to enhance the legal basis of its activity is the Convention on Combating Extremism, which the SCO leaders will sign on Friday, he said.
"I’m sure that together we will step up efforts for the political and diplomatic settlement of regional conflicts, namely in the Middle East and in particular in Syria," Putin said.
"The expansion will undoubtedly help the SCO become a more powerful organization and will also increase its political, economic and humanitarian influence," the Russian leader said.
At Thursday’s summit, India and Pakistan will become full-fledged SCO members. "New opportunities are emerging (for the SCO), as far as influencing the regional and global processes is concerned," Putin pointed out.
The Russian president also said that the accession process of India and Pakistan had begun at the SCO summit in Russia’s Ufa in 2015. "In the past two years, India and Pakistan fulfilled all conditions and completed all the necessary procedures," he said. "Now we should help our new partners get fully involved in the SCO’s multifaceted activities," Putin noted.