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Shanghai Group Foreign Ministers Hold Beijing Talks

Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states pose for a group photo before a council meeting of foreign ministers at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on May 11.
Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states have met in Beijing to discuss regional cooperation in combating terrorism and promoting security.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi expressed concerns over the situations in Afghanistan, the Middle East ,and North Africa, saying the unstable situations there might have a negative impact on the security of Central Asia.

"We propose that SCO member states continue in a constructive manner to advance peace and development in Afghanistan," Yang said, "and call for strict adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and international law, respect for the independent decisions of nations in the region, and ensuring peace, stability, prosperity, and advancement in the surrounding region."

Yang also said ministers discussed joint efforts to prevent threats to their sovereignty and security.

"We have unanimously decided to continue improving the SCO's ability to respond to new threats and new challenges," Yang said, "first of all, to improve in crisis prediction and emergency-response ability, and to safeguard the sovereignty and security interests of the member states."

The members of the SCO are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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

The ministers met on May 11 to discuss the agenda of the SCO leaders' summit scheduled for June 6-7 in Beijing.

With reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS
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