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Shanghai Cooperation Organization works for sake of stability — Kazakh president

"The organization works to combat three evils of modern times — separatism, extremism and terrorism," Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev said
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ASTANA, December 15. /TASS/. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met on Monday with government leaders in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) regional assembly, his press service said.

“The organization works, first of all, for the sake of stability and to prevent territorial disputes between us, as well as to combat three evils of modern times — separatism, extremism and terrorism,” Nazarbayev's press service quoted him as saying.

The Kazakh leader stressed that the SCO, a security grouping comprising Russia, China and the Central Asian former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, was a sort of an Asia-wide wealth fund where each member state could play some role.

SCO assumes political significance

SCO is assuming political significance and economic strength, Nazarbayev said on Monday. “It’s for the third time that the heads of government are gathering in our country. The organization is assuming political weight and economic strength. Today it is heard everywhere,” he said at a meeting with the SCO heads of government.

“The current meeting is a landmark event. We always say the Shanghai spirit exists,” Nazarbayev said. The SCO heads of government due to gather in Ufa are planning to approve the organization’s development strategy up to 2025, he said. Much work should be done for this purpose. “At the latest meeting, the heads of government signed documents on the admission of new members,” Nazarbayev said. 

He also said it was symbolic that the SCO heads of government gathered on the eve of Kazakhstan Independence Day to mark on December 16.

Settlements in national currencies

Kazakhstan considers it possible for member states of SCO to switch to national currencies in trade settlements, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov said on Monday.

“We consider it possible to switch to mutual settlements in national currencies. We have practical procedures developed at the bilateral level, which could be applied to the whole of the organization,” Masimov said while opening an enlarged session of the Council of the SCO heads of governments.

The Kazakh premier also urged the need to implement specific economic projects “capable of demonstrating the practical nature of the organization.”

“For these purposes, we stand for the quickest launch of the mechanisms of financial support for project activity within the SCO. Kazakhstan is open for dialogue to look for optimal formats of such a mechanism,” the head of the Kazakh government said.