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Belarusian president considers holding CSTO and SCO’s meeting on Afghan issue

Alexander Lukashenko also considers it essential to take into account Russia's position on the issue

MINSK, August 23. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko raised the possibility of holding a joint meeting between the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Collective Security Council and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s member states, BelTA news agency said on Monday.

"If the SCO members are willing to follow the discussion of current issues, then great. If they don't want to, we will outline and propose our position. And it will be up to them to decide. I believe, we can make serious progress here. It will be impossible to ignore the CSTO-SCO position. [It] will be even more significant than the Western coalition’s stance," Lukashenko stated at an extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council.

The Belarusian leader mentioned that practically all SCO members were focused on the Afghan issue. "And there are their global interests. At least, referring to China and Russia, India, Pakistan," Lukashenko said.

In this regard, he believes, "it is necessary to enhance cooperation between the CSTO and the SCO during the organizations’ summits, scheduled for September 16-17, 2021, in Dushanbe."

Lukashenko also emphasized the importance of working out the CSTO countries’ stance on the Taliban (banned in Russia). "Amid the Taliban’s diplomatic efforts to establish relations with the key worldwide and regional players, a number of countries are already inclined to recognize the movement. It is crucial for our organization to clearly understand how real such prospects are and what our position should be in this case," the Belarusian president noted.

Furthermore, Lukashenko considers it essential to take into account Russia's position on the Afghan issue. "Russia is not just one of the key players in this situation. It is the biggest player, and a lot will depend on Russia. Of course, together with the Central Asian republics," the Belarusian leader concluded.