Top legislators of the six member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met on Tuesday for the first time in Moscow.
In his speech at the meeting, Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), hailed the achievements of the group since its founding and made a three-point proposal aimed at improving cooperation among the parliaments of the SCO member states.
First, he said, the parliaments should cooperate to ensure the ratification of agreements at an early date and supervise their implementation to provide legal guarantees for exchanges and cooperation among the regional bloc.
Secondly, Wu said, the bloc's parliaments should promote cooperation on issues of common concern, such as regional security and economic cooperation.
Thirdly, Wu said, the parliaments should diversify their cooperation in a flexible manner.
"We support holding meetings of top legislators for communication and consultation on major issues in relation with parliamentary cooperation," he said.
Wu expressed the NPC's readiness to work with parliaments of the other member states to safeguard regional peace and stability and to promote regional prosperity and development.
Others attending the meeting included Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house), Sergei Mironov, Chairman of the Russian State Duma (the lower house), Boris Gryzlov, Chairman of the Kazakh Senate, Nurtai Abykayev, Speaker of the Supreme Council of Kyrgyzstan Marat Sultanov, Speaker of the Upper House of the Supreme Assembly of Tajikistan Makhmadsaid Ubaidullayev and Speaker of Uzbekistan's Legislative Chamber, Erkin Khalilov.
Khalilov said the founding of the SCO opened a new chapter in regional cooperation and provided rare opportunities for cooperation.
Gryzlov said the SCO had contributed to maintaining regional security and stability and promoting common prosperity. He added that the group had become an important force on the international stage.
Sultanov said every SCO member state, big or small in size, was working together in the group based on equality and mutual respect, forming the group for a common goal.
Ubaidullayev said the SCO member states could carry out practical cooperation within the organization to respond to new challenges and threats, although the status quo and historical and cultural background of every member state were different.
Abykayev said fostering parliamentary cooperation was conducive to strengthening cooperation among member states in such fields as security, economy and trade.
The legislators pledged greater parliamentary efforts to provide legal guarantees for cooperation in the organization, to boost exchanges of legislative experience and information, and to ratify relevant agreements at an early date.
The SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, with a view to promoting regional security and fighting terrorism.
The SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The heads of state from the six member countries are expected to meet in Shanghai next month to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the SCO.