SCO Heads of States agreed on future cooperation: Deputy Secretary General

BEIJING, Sept 21 (APP):Deputy Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Sohail Khan said that the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of States of SCO held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan has been fruitful with heads of state agreeing on future cooperation.

“The SCO summit has been fruitful, with heads of state agreeing on future cooperation,” he told media at briefing organized by China Public Diplomacy Association here at Beijing International Club.

Deputy Director General of the Department of European-Central Asian Affairs, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Liu Jiangping also attended the event.

Sohail Khan said that one of the most important results is the Samarkand Declaration, where a common-ground is announced.

“All the leaders agree that the world is facing complexity and difficulty, from regional crisis to digital gap to economic instability. That is why we also announced to work to stabilize world supply chain and to work together on food security,” he added.

Responding to a question about connectivity among the member states, he said that the SCO countries have worked on the transit rights and permissions for the future intra-SCO trade during the summit.

“We have signed several documents which are intertwined with each other such as intra-regional trade as well as transport corridors, infrastructure development so on so forth,” he added.

Sohail Khan said that some of the transit corridors are not fully functional specially in South Asian part connecting it with Central Asia via Afghanistan and Iran. That has to be first completed.

“We should have normal highway system for transportation of goods and services,” he added.

He opined that once the trade starts it is automatically resolved because there are other documents which have been adopted where there is a clause for simplification of customs, immigration and other things.

He said that in terms of SCO framework, the countries will try their best to overcome the issue of protectionism. So, hopefully next year when the next summit is held there should be some new documents between the SCO members indicating further simplification facilitating transit trade and corridors for the countries that require transit tracks or provisions.

The SCO deputy secretary-general also informed that an SCO meeting at the prime-minsters level will be held this November in China virtually.

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