MINSK, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- A summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) opened Friday in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, with an agenda ranging from trade and economy to law enforcement cooperation.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whose country is holding the rotating presidency of the regional bloc this year, held a welcome ceremony in the Palace of Independence for the arriving dignitaries from fellow CIS member nations.
At the summit, the heads of state are expected to discuss preparations for celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
They will also decide on the CIS cultural capitals for 2015. This status is likely to be passed on from Mogilev, Belarus to Almaty, Kazakhstan and Osh, Kyrgyzstan.
CIS members will also adopt a number of medium-term programs in the security field and propose measures to fight cross-border crimes, human trafficking and terrorism.
The CIS, founded in 1991 as a regional association of former Soviet republics, groups Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.