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Central Asia: Shanghai Five Summit Opens


Dushanbe, 5 July 2000 (RFE/RL) - The presidents of Russia, China, and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan -- the Shanghai Five -- opened a summit today in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. The agenda is dominated by security issues, including the fight against terrorism and separatism and the situation in war-torn Afghanistan. Uzbek President Islam Karimov is attending as an observer.

Before the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin met for a one-hour meeting.

A spokesman for Jiang quotes China's president as saying that Chinese-Russian relations are in a "very favorable state." A Russian spokesman says Putin and Zemin agreed to avoid several unresolved issues, including border disputes.

The foreign ministers of the Shanghai Five yesterday expressed support for Russia's military campaign in Chechnya and for China's bid to reunify with Taiwan.
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