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UPDATED: 09:19, June 18, 2004
Chinese president calls for joint efforts in fighting terrorism in Central Asia
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Photo:President Hu addresses SCO summit
President Hu addresses SCO summit
Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Tashkent on June 17 that China, Russia and the four Central Asian countries should step up their efforts to fight terrorism and ensure peace and stability for the region's economic development.

"We have to fight against the three evils of separatism, extremism and terrorism," Hu said in a speech at a summit meeting of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Terrorism in all forms must be suppressed and double standards must be ruled out in fighting what is regarded as a grave threat to world peace and development, the Chinese president said.

Efforts should be made to tackle the problem of regional confrontation and poverty, which are considered the roots of terrorism, said the Chinese president.

"Terrorism is not automatically related to certain ethnic groups or religions," he added.

Before the annual summit meeting, the presidents of the six SCO member states formally launched the Regional Anti-terrorist Structure of the SCO, which diplomats said symbolized the end of the SCO's structure building and the start of pragmatic cooperation among member states.

The SCO, founded in Shanghai in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, aimed to strengthen mutual trust among member states and develop effective cooperation in the region's political affairs, security and economy.

Hu said China will provide 900 million US dollars in loans and trade credits to other SCO member states, noting that balanced development in regions is conducive to the long-term peace and stability in the world.

"We should fully take advantage of the high complementary economy among members and the rich natural resources and start cooperation in various forms," Hu said.

The SCO has decided to establish five specialized working groups concerning e-commerce, customs, quality inspection, investment promotion and transportation facilitation.

Members should also expand cooperation in culture, education, science and technology, tourism and the press, Hu said.

In addition, Hu stressed that the SCO should participate in world and regional affairs in a constructive and open manner, and "make greater contribution to world peace and development."

"Over the past three years, the SCO has made a firm step forward to reach its fundamental goal of ensuring sustained peace and development among member countries," he said.

"The SCO has served as a link for strengthening mutual trust and cooperation, a mechanism to effectively promote regional security, stability and development, and a constructive force in world and regional affairs," the Chinese president added.

Other members of the SCO have also put forward their proposals in different areas at the summit meeting.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the SCO should find better ways to implement relevant agreements and cooperative documents.

Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev said members should strengthen cooperation in areas of energy and transportation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan is of vital importance to central Asia's stability. He proposed to establish a liaison mechanism between the SCO and Afghanistan.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov proposed to fully exploit the role of the SCO Secretariat and the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure to meet challenges.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov proposed to establish a Central Asia Common Market.

The six heads of state also agreed that next year's summit meeting will be held in Kazakhstan.

Source: Xinhua

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