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December 3, 2017



SCO members agree to enhance cooperation in various fields

SOCHI, Russia: The member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Friday agreed to shape the organisation into the most effective forum for enhancing cooperation in various fields.
The SCO leaders converged for a meeting of Council of Heads of Government at the most popular summer resort of Russian Federation in the Krasnodar region, nestled between fabled fame Caucasus mountains and the Black sea. The freezing chill identical with the adroitly grafted orange and palm trees and snow-capped mountains in the background gave way to the warm feelings dominating different sessions of the SCO meeting.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his address reiterated that Pakistan will not allow any kind of militancy on its soil and is fully committed to eliminating the menace of terrorism.
“Pakistan is fully cognisant of the threats posed by terrorism, separatism, and extremism to the regional and global economic development. Pakistan has lost thousands of lives, including 6,500 military and law enforcement personnel to terrorism,” the premier said. He said Pakistan’s economy suffered losses of over 120 billion dollars. “Pakistan wants enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan,” PM Abbasi asserted.
He said Pakistan fully supports SCO countries resolve to fight terrorism. He said terrorism cannot be identified with any religion, country, or nationalities. He said trade and economic cooperation holds the key for long term stability, progress, and prosperity. He said SCO holds tremendous potential for connectivity, trade, and economic development.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said they had to think about future and move ahead. He said that for future development and prosperity, economic cooperation among the SCO states should be strengthened. He said the region was confronted with economic challenges. He offered Russian expertise and cooperation to the member states in tackling the related issues. He recounted the effects

of global economic meltdown and stressed upon strengthening cooperation in road infrastructure, agriculture, energy and food security.
Medvedev also suggested multilateral border connections through Eurasian and One Belt
One Road initiatives. He said the SCO was working over such agreements.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang viewed the complicated changes in the world as result of outcome of regional hot spots.
“Fighting terrorism in all forms and manifestation should be the priority of the SCO countries,” he said, and suggested active study of the threats posed by terrorism. He said that China was ready to advance security of the region with other countries through intense cooperation, besides stressing upon synergising of efforts to translate ideas into concrete measures.
“The SCO’s identity and objectives should flourish,” he opined. He particularly referred to One Belt, One Road project, mentioning Pakistan and South Asia as massive economic markets for the SCO due to its huge population and potentials.
Li said that China was ready to open its markets to the world to increase competitiveness.
Indian External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj said global challenges in the sphere of economy still persisted. “The SCO member countries are connected through long history of commonalities but the regional connectivity is vital,” she said.
The Kazakhstan prime minister said landlocked countries of the Central Asia required to streamline their efforts for close cooperation through road networks and referred to Chinese initiative of One Road One Belt project.
Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sapar Isakov said his conviction was that the SCO’s role would be enhanced with the inclusion of Pakistan and India. He offered a proposal for establishment of digital Silk Road and construction of roads network passing through all member states of the SCO.
The Council adopted a number of decisions related to budget, financial and administrative matters of the SCO. The joint communiqué issued by the Council focused on the economic, trade, energy, connectivity and social sector cooperation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abbasi and Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sapar Isakov agreed to further enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual interest including trade and defence, besides stressing on the need for greater cooperation between the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries.
During a meeting, both prime ministers exchanged views on ways to enhance cooperation in the framework of the SCO as well as bilaterally. They expressed satisfaction that all agreements regarding CASA-1000 Project had been signed and the project was now in its implementation stage.
Prime Minister Abbasi underscored that the development of a network of highways and motorways underway in Pakistan would benefit Kyrgyzstan and other countries of the region by providing connectivity to Gwadar and other ports of Pakistan. In this regard, he highlighted the significance of the Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement signed between Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan.
The prime minister also underscored the importance of connectivity within the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) region, to which both Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan belonged. Pakistan holds the chair of the ECO.
Prime Minister Abbasi extended invitation to Sapar Isakov to pay an official visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience which was accepted.