SCO countries agree to pursue regional peace, stability through friendship, practical cooperation

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APP16-10 QINGDAO: June 10 - President Mamnoon Hussain in a group photo with the Heads of State during the 18th SCO Summit. APP

QINGDAO (China), Jun 10 (APP):The Council of the Heads of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Sunday agreed that the member countries would carry forward the Shanghai spirit of regional peace, stability and development by promoting good-neighborliness and friendship and deepening practical cooperation.
The leaders of eight member countries along with observer states and representatives of international organizations made this commitment in a joint communique signed by them on the conclusion of two-day summit held here at the coast of Yellow Sea.
The Council of the Heads of State, which convenes annually, is the highest decision-making forum of the SCO. It reviews performance of the organization and its bodies and makes fundamental decisions about future course of action.
President Mamnoon Hussain represented Pakistan at the summit that was also attended by the leaders of all eight member countries, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev, Chinese President XI Jinping, Kyrgyz President S. Sh. Jeenbekov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President E.Rahmon and Uzbek President Sh. M. Mirziyoyev.
Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia and Turkmenistan will also attend the meeting as Observers.
Representatives of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Independent States, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Association of South East Asian Nations, Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, International Monetary Fund and World Bank are also in attendance.
This was the first SCO summit held after the inclusion of Pakistan and India in the Organization as full members at Astana Summit in Kazakhstan in June last year. Earlier, Pakistan had been attending the meeting as observer.
Following the summit, President Xi Jinping also addressed a joint press conference along with other leaders.
“We have agreed to abide by the goals and principles of the SCO Charter, carry forward the Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development, and jointly pursue regional peace, stability and development by promoting good-neighborliness and friendship and deepening practical cooperation,” Xi told the newsmen.
China has held the chairmanship of the Council since the last Summit in Astana, which will now pass on to Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyz Republic will take over the rotating presidency of the SCO when the Qingdao summit concludes, Xi announced who also listed the achievements of the SCO Summit.
“We have had an in-depth exchange of views on major international and regional issues. We have ratified an action plan for implementing the treaty on long-term good neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation of the SCO member-states,” he remarked.
The Heads of State held a ‘restricted format’ meeting of the leaders of member states in the morning followed by a plenary session.
The leaders exchanged views on contemporary regional and global issues. They agreed to further enhance cooperation and mutual trust to realize the maximum potential offered by the organization.
The Heads of State reiterated their commitment to the Charter of SCO and to the “Shanghai Spirit” which includes refence to mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development.
The Summit witnessed signing of over 20 documents outlining future SCO trajectory in a number of spheres.
Besides the Qingdao Declaration, the documents signed on the occasion included: Action Plan on implementing the provisions of Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation; Cooperation Plan on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism;  Anti-Drug Strategy and its Plan of Action, Concept on Preventing the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Declaration on Trade Facilitation.
The SCO leaders also signed documents Vision on Environment Protection; and Joint Appeal of Heads of State on the necessity to prevent involvement of youth in activities of destructive nature and Action Plan.
Besides cooperation Agreements/MOUs in various fields such as cooperation on countering threats of Epidemics; MOU on stimulating cooperation in the SMEs, and cooperation in Customs related fields were signed.
An MOU for cooperation between SCO and UNESCO was also signed at the occasion. The Council confirmed appointment of new Secretary General of SCO N.V. Imamovich and G. D.Fayozovichnew Executive Director of SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
The final day of the two-day annual summit started with a welcome ceremony and a group photo of leaders of the eight SCO member-states as well as all heads of the delegations.