BEIJING, November 10. /TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's member-states in the current turbulent international situation are striving to deepen multifaceted cooperation, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming told TASS in an interview on Thursday.
"The meeting of the SCO supreme body in Samarkand in September once again convincingly demonstrated the member-states’ common wish to deepen multifaceted cooperation in various areas," Zhang said. Such unanimity, he stressed, is especially important at a time when profound political and economic changes and upheavals are afoot around the world.
The leaders of the eight member-countries, Zhang stated, are unanimous that modern challenges can only be countered by strengthening cooperation, bringing the promotion of their own development to the forefront, and turning challenges into opportunities. The cooperation documents signed during the summit opened a number of new areas for multilateral cooperation, he said.
At a recent meeting of the SCO heads of government, Zhang recalled, it was stated that the world was entering a new era of rapid development and large-scale transformations. These fundamental processes are accompanied by growing interconnectedness and faster informatization and digitalization.
"Priority areas of practical cooperation within the SCO framework are outlined clearly: trade and investment, transport, ecology, food and energy security," Zhang said.
The member states agreed to encourage regional economic cooperation in various forms, promote the creation of favorable conditions for trade and investment in order to gradually implement the free movement of goods, capital, services and technologies, and much more.
The SCO is an international organization founded in 2001. Currently, it includes Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Four countries - Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia - have the status of observers. Nine countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Egypt, Cambodia, Qatar, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Sri Lanka are the SCO’s dialogue partners.
At the September 15-16 SCO summit in Samarkand, its leaders signed a memorandum of commitment of the Iranian side in connection with accession to the SCO. After this Iran will fulfill the relevant obligations and complete the official entry procedures. Also at the summit, the process of formalizing Belarus' membership began. The Samarkand summit also decided to launch the procedure of granting the status of dialogue partners to Bahrain, Kuwait, the Maldives, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates.