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SCO consolidation needed over situation in Afghanistan — Russian coordinator

Russian presidential envoy for the SCO affairs Bakhtiyer Khakimov stressed that the SCO would support Uzbekistan’s initiatives and program

TASHKENT, October 26. /TASS/. Consolidation of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) against the present-day threats is especially needed right now in the context of the situation in Afghanistan, Russian presidential envoy for the SCO affairs Bakhtiyer Khakimov told TASS on Tuesday.

"Today, these tasks are ever more topical, bearing in mind the developments on that side of our countries’ southern borders [in Afghanistan]. <…> In this context, we will work jointly to resolve the tasks we see, to develop and strengthen the SCO. We will support Uzbekistan’s initiatives and program, which is very serious," he said.

He recalled that over the past year of Tajikistan’s presidency, the process of the SCO expansion was launched and serious documents geared to give an impetus to the economic and cultural cooperation were adopted. Uzbekistan’s presidency, in his words, will be geared to implement these tasks and further consolidate the organization in the face of the present-day challenges and threats.

The priorities of Uzbekistan’s presidency will be the focus of a meeting of SCO national coordinators in the Uzbek city of Nukus on Wednesday. "All of us (SCO nations - TASS) support them and we will do our best to implement them," Khakimov added.

SCO member nations are Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which took over the presidency of the organization from Tajikistan at a meeting of the Council of the SCO Heads of State in Dushanbe on September 17.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. On September 6, the Taliban said they had taken control of the entire country and announced a new interim government the following day. However, this government has not been officially recognized by any of the world nations.