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English>>Foreign Affairs

Interview: Closer SCO anti-terror cooperation conducive to regional security: official

(Xinhua)    11:21, July 07, 2015

TASHKENT, July 7 -- Closer anti-terror cooperation among the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) boosts common security in related regions, the chief of the bloc's anti-terror agency has said.

Since its founding in 2001, the SCO has conducted all-round cooperation in areas of security, economy and culture by adhering to the "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development, Zhang Xinfeng, director of the Executive Committee of SCO's Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure (RCTS), told Xinhua ahead of Thursday's SCO summit in the Russian city of Ufa.

To ensure regional security, the bloc has prioritized the fight against the "three evil forces" - terrorism, separatism, and extremism - and founded the RCTS in 2004 with an effective interaction mechanism, which has continuously boosted pragmatic cooperation, Zhang said.

The SCO has signed several related conventions on anti-terrorism, putting forward the concept of the "three evil forces" and specifying the principles for and contents of cooperation in the campaign, Zhang said.

A host of operation mechanisms for pragmatic anti-terrorism collaboration has also been established within the SCO, Zhang said.

There have been frequent information exchanges among SCO member states, especially regarding online terrorism, for which interaction mechanisms have been established and working groups of experts formed to strengthen the monitoring of the Internet, collect and share intelligence about terrorist groups, and coordinate efforts to crack down on online photos, videos and audio files pertaining to terrorism activities, he added.

Moreover, Zhang said the RCTS has been maintaining cooperative relations with major international and regional security organizations to jointly safeguard global peace.

He urged global and regional security organizations to beef up pragmatic cooperation to improve the international anti-terror situation.

The upcoming 15th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO is of great significance for the SCO's development as leaders of its members states are expected to discuss the blueprint for cooperation, formulate future development strategies and adopt a series of important documents, Zhang said.

The SCO now groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as member states, with Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistanas observers and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka as dialogue partners.

The SCO has two permanent bodies -- the Secretariat in Beijing and the RCTS in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Ruiqi,Bianji)

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