Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) speaks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, April 21, 2017. (Xinhua/Sadat)
ASTANA, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Facing new opportunities and challenges, the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should promote all-round cooperation in areas of politics, security, economy and people-to-people exchanges, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi here on Friday.
Cooperation is vital for the SCO to remain a strong and reliable supporter for the stability and development of its member states, said Wang at an SCO foreign ministers meeting held in the capital city of Kazakhstan.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the SCO charter, which represents the Shanghai Spirit of equal treatment, win-win cooperation and open and inclusive attitudes, creating a brand new model for international relations, said Wang.
The SCO is an inter-governmental organization founded in Shanghai in 2001. It groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Since its establishment, the SCO has maintained a robust momentum of development and strongly protected the security and development interests of its member states, demonstrating its unique strategic value, said the top Chinese diplomat.
In June 2016, India and Pakistan signed the SCO's Memorandum of Obligations, kick-starting the process of their accession to the group. The two South Asian countries were expected to get full membership at a SCO Summit in Astana later this year.
After the expansion, the SCO will become a regional group covering the widest land area with the biggest population in the world, said Wang.
Wang said the member states should firmly support each other with solidarity and coordination, strengthen the construction of regional anti-terrorism organizations, and further lift the level of trade and investment facilitation and freedom.
Wang also urged more extensive people-to-people exchanges among member states.
During the meeting, other foreign ministers fully acknowledged the key role played by the SCO in maintaining regional stability and boosting development.
The ministers also signed a preparatory paper for the upcoming Astana summit.