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Uzbeks Skip Regional Security Meeting In Kazakhstan

An SCO meeting last month in Beijing

An SCO meeting last month in Beijing

ALMATY -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has begun a third round of discussions in Almaty about upcoming counterterrorism exercises, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Representatives from SCO members Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and China also visited the Otar training grounds in southeastern Kazakhstan, where the maneuvers involving some 10,000 troops are to be held next year.

Delegations from all SCO members except Uzbekistan are attending the meetings.

The Uzbek government has recently limited its involvement in the Eurasian security organization, in which Russia and China are the dominant partners.

In September, the Uzbek parliament adopted legislation on its cooperation with the SCO that limits it to sending observers to the counterterrorism maneuvers after members of the upper house of parliament noted that Uzbek law forbids sending troops abroad.

The SCO was founded as the Shanghai Five in 1996 and changed its name in 2001 after Uzbekistan joined as a member.