SCO FMs meet in Beijing, prepare for summit in June


BEIJING – Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries gathered in Beijing Tuesday and reached a series of consensus for the upcoming SCO Qingdao summit.

"This meeting has made political preparations for the summit and laid a solid foundation for its success," said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who hosted the meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers.

Foreign ministers from the eight member states, namely China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, signed 14 documents, including a meeting resolution.

They also reached consensus on deepening solidarity and mutual trust, boosting security cooperation, dovetailing development strategies, increasing pragmatic cooperation, strengthening people-to-people exchanges, and expanding the international influence of the SCO.

"The Qingdao summit, with joint efforts from all sides, will be a significant meeting, setting future directions and goals for the SCO and marking a milestone in its history," Wang said.

The summit will be the first of its kind after a membership expansion last June to include India and Pakistan.

"The fundamental reason why the SCO can keep growing is that its member states have been firmly sticking to the 'Shanghai Spirit', featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development," Wang said.

He called for taking the upcoming summit as an opportunity to review the "Shanghai Spirit," strengthen solidarity, mutual trust and all-round cooperation, and forge a closer community with a shared future.

The summit will ratify a five-year outline for the implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation to set the direction for SCO cooperation in the next phase, and approve a host of resolutions and cooperation deals covering areas including security, economy and trade, as well as people-to-people exchanges, according to Wang.

Foreign ministers from other SCO member states spoke highly of the work undertaken by China as rotating presidency of the SCO, and pledged to strengthen coordination with China for a fruitful summit.