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SCO FMs meet to promote cooperation

CHOLPON-ATA, Kyrgyzstan, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers concluded a meeting here Saturday, pledging to expand coordination and cooperation under the regional framework.

In a statement released after the latest session of the SCO Foreign Ministers' Council, the participants noted that SCO members hold the same or similar positions on major global and regional issues, which is conducive to the development of their partnership.

Against the backdrop of profound changes in international relations, they said the primary task now is to act in unison to effectively tackle global threats and challenges and ensure the sustainable socioeconomic development of the SCO countries.

They pledged concerted efforts within the SCO framework to fight terrorism, extremism and separatism, as well as transnational crime, drug-trafficking, weapons and ammunition smuggling and other illicit activities.

They called for increased cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, investment, finance, transportation, communications, agriculture and innovation, noting that such efforts will contribute to SCO members' sustainable development.

They also voiced support for greater cooperation in the areas of science and technology, culture, health, tourism and disaster relief.

In addition, the participants stressed the necessity of encouraging SCO observers and dialogue partners to participate more extensively in practical cooperation within the SCO framework.

During the meeting, they also discussed the situation in West Asia and North Africa, and reaffirmed their support for using universally recognized international norms as the basis to achieve regional peace, stability, prosperity and progress.

They also agreed to continue working on the procedures for interested parties to join the SCO and become full SCO members.

They also lauded Kyrgyzstan's preparations for the upcoming SCO summit in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.

The meeting grouped Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Sarybay of Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China, Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev of Kyrgyzstan, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia, Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi of Tajikistan, and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov of Uzbekistan.

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