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Terrorists won't find refuge on SCO soil, says secretary general

The SCO secretary general attributes the success to practical efforts on improving counterterrorism mechanisms
SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov Artyom Ivanov/TASS
SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov
© Artyom Ivanov/TASS

BEIJING, September 5. /TASS/. Terrorist activity on the territory of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) member states has decreased, which confirms the success of practical efforts on enhancing counterterrorism mechanisms, SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov told reporters on Thursday.

"Practical efforts on improving counterterrorism efforts are continuing on a regular basis," he noted. "We can judge their success by the reduction in terrorist activity of extremist groups on the territory of our countries."

"The SCO Charter states that we have declared war on three evils — terrorism, separatism and extremism, which are the main dangers to today’s society. In this regard, I would like to recall that the SCO was established three months before the infamous events of September 11, 2001. This confirms that the leaders of its member states had foreseen the peril of international terrorism," Norov pointed out. He also highlighted "united efforts in the fight against drugs and universal efforts against international crime and illegal arms trafficking."

"We are paying close attention to fighting cybercrime and to monitoring illegal cash flows that serve to fuel international terrorism. We try to measure up our actions against the activity of international organizations, namely, the UN system," the secretary general stated.

"The principal thing in this cooperation is the resolute and uncompromising eradication of any legal, financial and social basis for the existence of terrorist hideouts. Terrorists must realize that they can’t hide on SCO domain," Norov stressed. One practical step in this area is the approval of the Program of SCO Member States Cooperation in Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism for 2019-2021 signed at the organization’s summit in Qingdao, China, as well as the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism signed in June 2017 in Nur-Sultan.

The SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) also plays an important role, the secretary general added. The organization plans to expand the cooperation of the relevant bodies in this area.

The SCO members are Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Furthermore, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia take on the role of observer states. Six countries serve as SCO dialogue partners, and they are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.