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Shanghai Cooperation Group Meeting In Tashkent --> 17 June 2004 -- The presidents of China, Russia, and four Central Asian nations met today in the Uzbek capital Tashkent to enhance their security alliance.

The six Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) leaders are discussing regional threats and are due to inaugurate an antiterrorism center in Uzbekistan.

Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai is attending the talks as an observer. Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed establishing a contact group between the alliance and Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev agreed, saying that by helping Afghanistan the alliance would be helping itself. Karzai welcomed the initiatives, saying Afghanistan is eager to cooperate with the SCO.

Also at the meeting, Mongolia was approved as an observer nation to the SCO.