SCO accepts Afghanistan as observer, Turkey dialogue partner   2012-06-07 12:34:59

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has decided to grant Afghanistan observer status and accept Turkey as a dialogue partner, President Hu Jintao said Thursday.

Hu announced the decision made by SCO member states at a press conference held after the SCO Beijing summit, which ran from Wednesday to Thursday. China currently serves as SCO president.

While announcing the inclusion, Hu also elaborated on the agreements that have been reached by SCO member states over the past two days.

Member states have vowed to facilitate trade and investment in a bid to tap economic potential within the bloc, Hu said.

Hu said SCO member states have agreed to enhance cooperation in the finance,transportation, energy, telecommunications and agriculture sectors.

To advance regional economic development, the organization will continue to make efforts to establish a special account and development bank, Hu said.

The SCO's development over the next decade will weigh heavily on the peace and development of its member states, the region and the world, Hu said.

He explained that member states have approved a mid-term development strategic plan and agreed to build the SCO into a "harmonious community."

With terrorism, separatism, extremism and transnational crime on the rise, SCO member states have agreed to enhance their capacity to warn about and handle emergencies, as well as make the organization a reliable guarantor of regional security, Hu said.

SCO member states believe it is necessary to promote cultural and educational exchanges and expand their channels for people-to-people exchanges and social interaction, Hu said.

The SCO will strengthen cooperation with its observer states and dialogue partners, the United Nations and its affiliated organizations, as well as other international and regional organizations, Hu said.

Kyrgyzstan will fill the SCO's rotating presidency after the two-day Beijing summit, Hu said.

China will continue to support the SCO's development and provide aid within its capacity to other member states, according to Hu.

At the end of the summit, SCO member states adopted 10 new agreements, including the Declaration on Building a Region with Lasting Peace and Common Prosperity, the Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and regulations concerning the SCO's method of response to regional security threats.

While addressing the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO Thursday morning, Hu called for the SCO to be built into an effective platform for increasing international exchange and influence.

"We should enhance consultations with international and regional organizations through the platform to safeguard peace, promote development and boost world multipolarization and democratization of international relations," Hu said.

The SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 and currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Prior to Thursday's inclusion, the SCO had four observer states (Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India) and two dialogue partners (Belarus and Sri Lanka).

Editor: Chao Luan
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