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Iranian President Hassan Rohani (left) is welcomed at Bishkek's Manas Airport by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev on September 12.

Liveblog: Eurasian Leaders Gather for SCO Summit in Bishkek

Border security following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and a response to the ongoing crisis in Syria are high on the agenda for the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek today. The SCO summit brings together Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping along with the leaders of Iran, Afghanistan, and most Central Asian states.

03:00 13.9.2013
Rohani and Xi met for an hour yesterday, soon after the two leaders arrived in Bishkek. As expected, Tehran's nuclear program reportedly dominated the conversation. According to the Chinese state-run "China Daily," Xi expressed "respect" for Iran's legal right to nuclear energy , but said he was hopeful that a negotiated outcome among the P5+1 members would be possible.

The P5 + 1 includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (U.S., Russia, China, France and Britain), plus Germany.

10:52 13.9.2013
World leaders are expected to begin official Summit meetings in 15 minutes. RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, which is also liveblogging the event, spoke with Kyrgyzstan-based expert Aibek Sultangaziev. He said Syria is likely to dominate:

"The summit is taking place during an extremely tense time in world politics, and the Syran question will be floating in the air...its possible the organization will come to a consensus on the matter."
11:25 13.9.2013
The Summit has begun. Nothing to break yet.
11:44 13.9.2013
The meetings taking place right now are for SCO member states only. Iran applied for member status, but was rejected by Russia because of UN Security Council sanctions related to its nuclear program. Tehran views membership in the organization as a "potential guarantor of future security."
11:55 13.9.2013
"The Times of India" reports that Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid is expected to push for full SCO membership today. Although China has expressed tepid words of support, the organization does not currently have a mechanism for adding members.

"They are yet to come to a consensual decision on how to expand the SCO," said foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. "Once they do come to that decision, they will indicate to us, and we will until then patiently continue our role as an Observer in the SCO."

Pakistan, a fierce rival of India, is also seeking membership.
12:30 13.9.2013
Closed door meetings have ended. Observer states and dialogue partners have been invited in.
12:36 13.9.2013
Again, Syria is expected to play an important role in today's discussion - a reality that has caught the attention of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. This is what he said on the sidelines yesterday:

"It's already difficult for me to watch the television, very hard. When I watch the television, when I turn on the television, when I turn it off, all the channels you can receive, I see one thing -- Syria, Syria, Syria. This says more than anything, that the world is changing."

12:45 13.9.2013

Our Kyrgyz Service reports that Krgyzstan President Almazbek Atambaev announced that an international conference on the situation in Afghanistan will be held in Bishkek on October 10. Security in the region after NATO troops withdraw in 2014 will top the agenda.

Atambaev also said Kyrgyzstan would only support a "peaceful" resolution to the war in Syria.
12:47 13.9.2013
The first class photo to pop up online, taken by Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

12:51 13.9.2013
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev says Astana fully supports Moscow's position on Syria.

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