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Interview: SCO anti-terror cooperation makes progress: new director


08:25, May 30, 2013

TASHKENT, May 29 (Xinhua) -- A regional anti-terror agency has made great progress in helping Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states combat the "three evil forces", according to its new chief.

A comparatively complete anti-terror legal system had been established after SCO members signed a series of papers on fighting extremism, terrorism and separatism, or the "three evil forces," Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Director of the Executive Committee Zhang Xinfeng told Chinese media.

Zhang said RATS had staged joint anti-terror exercises annually, provided security cooperation for large-scale events, convened information exchange meetings and meetings of border departments in recent years in line with the requirements of the development of the anti-terror situation in the region.

Taking the 2008 Beijing Olympics as an example, Zhang said RATS coordinated the measures taken by various SCO security agencies to create a secure environment for the global sports gala.

Based on that successful experience, RATS worked out a routine mechanism to guarantee security for large-scale events in all SCO countries in 2012 and had put it into practice 16 times, he said.

Since it was established in 2004, RATS has signed memorandums of cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States Anti-terror Center, the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other groups to beef up international and regional cooperation, he said.

Regional security was stable and under control so far, but was still complicated and volatile, he said, adding there were plenty of potential threats in the cyberized age despite the calmness on surface.

Drug trafficking in Afghanistan has become a major source of capital for the "three evil forces" in the region, Zhang said.

As the newly appointed director of RATS, Zhang said he would adjust the priority of his job to be more targeted and more efficient and work with other organizations to safeguard regional security and stability.

RATS is headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and its director is the region's top security official, appointed by SCO's Council of Heads of Government.

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