SCO Tashkent summit reiterates adherence to regional stability (4)

08:32, June 12, 2010      

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The narrow format talks in Tashkent focused on prospects for Afghanistan's further political development.

Because of their proximity to Afghanistan or vulnerability to Afghan-originated drug-trafficking, SCO member-states have a strong interest in stabilising the situation there. They developed a comprehensive strategic approach to this issue.

The SCO's members noted the situation in Afghanistan remained the main threat to security in the region.

"The SCO decided it can assume responsibility for the future of Afghanistan. The SCO appears to be the only organization able to take the lead in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces," expert Lukyanov said.

He said the SCO included two regional superpowers, Russia and China, and also the countries of the region with geopolitical concerns about the situation in Afghanistan. "So the SCO is holding all the cards," Lukyanov said.

SCO leaders declared that lasting peace in Afghanistan would be only possible if all the groups within he country found a consensus.

Alexander Rar, an expert from the Russia-Eurasia Center, said on Friday: "The drug threat has been more dangerous than a threat from international terrorism. For Russia, coping with the international drug business has become the major objective now."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attended the Tashkent summit as a guest of honour.
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