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SCO military drill "not directed against any country or organization": Chinese FM
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21:05, August 09, 2007

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An ongoing anti-terror drill sponsored by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries is "not directed against any country or organization", said a Chinese foreign ministry senior official on Thursday.

"The well-prepared joint anti-terror drill is not directed against any country or organization, which fulfills the SCO's tenet that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party,"said Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui at a press briefing on Chinese President Hu Jintao's coming three-nation tour to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia from August 14 to 18.

During the tour, Hu will also attend the SCO summit in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, observe the SCO joint anti-terrorism military drill in Russia and pay a state visit to Kazakhstan.

It is the first time for all the SCO members of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to join in a anti-terror drill, according to Li.

The drill, being carried out in Chelyabinsk in Russia and in Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from August 9 to 17, will involve 6,000 military personnel, including 4,700 Russian soldiers and 36 aircraft.

Citing security situation in the region as "complicated",where peace and stability have been challenged by the rampant "three evil forces", Li said the joint military drill is aiming to increase the ability of military forces of the SCO members to combat terrorism and respond to new threats and challenges.

"All the SCO members hope to deepen exchanges and cooperation in fields of defense and security through the joint military drill, which will also play a positive role to safeguard the regional peace and stability," Li said.

When observing the SCO military drill, Hu will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and will discuss bilateral relations, international and regional affairs of common concern, according to Li.

Both China and Russia hope to push forward cooperation and exchanges in the areas of economy and trade, energy, investment, science and technology as well as environment protection, Li said.

Source: Xinhua

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