Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) reaffirmed their readiness on Saturday to further cooperate on combating "three evil forces", namely, terrorism, extremism and separatism.
SCO -- a regional organization grouping China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan -- released a joint communique after the meeting, noting that the ministers discussed preparations for the upcoming meeting of the heads of the member states, which is slated for July in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
Terrorism, extremism and separatism have posed major threats to security and stability in Central Asia, said the foreign ministers in the joint communique, adding the July summit will further strengthen related cooperation between the member countries.
The foreign ministers noted that SCO, which has been seen as an active player in safeguarding regional and international security, will send representatives to monitor presidential and parliamentary elections in its member states, a new move taken by the group to help maintain stability in the region.
The foreign ministers said that it is important for SCO to cooperate with the United Nations and implement the memorandums it recently signed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
As to the UN reform, the ministers said they objected to setting a timetable for the reform process or forcing a vote on reform plans lacking consensus.
While discussing a series of pressing international issues, the ministers said SCO will persistently support the multipolarization of the world and efforts to build a just international order based on such principles as equality of sovereignties, mutual respect, and respect for the history, culture and traditions of various countries as well as the right of the people in different countries to choose their own path of development.
The ministers reiterated the openness of the six-member SCO, saying the organization welcomes Pakistan, Iran and India to attend as observers.
Mongolia, who has already been an observer, dispatched its foreign minister to attend the ministerial level meeting, which was also attended by Zhang Deguang, SCO's Secretary-General and V.T. Casymov, director of the executive committee of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure.