WORLD> Asia-Pacific
SCO leaders urge economic, security cooperation
Updated: 2009-06-16 23:20

YEKATERINBURG - Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Tuesday called for strengthened cooperation in economy and security among member states.

In a speech delivered at the ninth summit of the SCO held in the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg, Chinese President Hu Jintao called on members to deepen economic cooperation.

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"The SCO members need to hold hands to jointly cope with the impact of the international financial crisis, and to push for recovery of the world economy," he said.

To realize this goal, Hu suggested SCO member states enhance coordination in macroeconomic and financial policies, expedite the implementation of energy, transportation, and telecommunication network programs and actively promote cooperation in new industries.

He said member states should establish a financial dialogue mechanism, and strengthen multilateral cooperation in science and technology in a bid to improve productivity through technological innovation.

Hu reiterated that China will continue to support multilateral and bilateral cooperation within the framework of the SCO, saying the country will provide a 10-billion-US dollar credit loan to SCO members to shore up their economies amid the global financial crisis.

China will also organize visits by trade and investment promotion delegations to other SCO member states to boost two-way trade and investment, Hu said.

Hu also proposed intensifying security cooperation. A just-signed document on anti-terrorism will enable the SCO members to jointly hunt for and repatriate criminal suspects, he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that active cooperation in various fields within the framework of the SCO remains the priority of Russia's foreign policy. Russia is committed to boosting its partnership with other SCO members so as to deal with challenges such as the global financial crisis.

The SCO members should strengthen their cooperation in food security, energy security and disaster relief, and jointly fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking, he said.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Central Asia is still facing a serious threat to the region's security. The SCO members should cement their cooperation in anti-drug and anti-terrorism activities within the framework of the SCO, thus contributing to regional and global stability and security.

In his speech, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said SCO members should make joint efforts in safeguarding peace and stability, in fighting against the three "evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and in strengthening their cooperation in trade and economy.

China's offer of US$10 billion in credit loans to other SCO members is of great importance in implementing cooperation projects among the SCO members, he said.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon said SCO members should boost mutual trust, expand cooperation, and integrate their political and economic resources so as to deal with the trans-national challenges and carry out economic cooperation for mutual benefit and a win-win result.

In confronting the current global financial crisis, all members should boost cooperation in the fields of finance and commerce to promote their common development. They should also intensify their cooperation in transportation and agriculture as so to promote regional economic growth, he said.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said the SCO has broaden its basis for cooperation, made strides in achieving the organization's goals, and played an important role in maintaining regional security and dealing with the global financial crisis.

Leaders from the SCO observers -- Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India -- also took the floor at the meeting. They said in confronting the global threats, SCO members should enhance their cooperation, share their experience, intensify exchange of visits and broaden cooperation in various fields in order to jointly fight against terrorism and cross-border crimes, promote the reform of global systems including the international financial system, and maintain sustainable development.

As a guest of the SCO, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appreciated the SCO for helping maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan and fighting against terrorism and drug-trafficking. He said his country is willing to continue its cooperation with SCO members in combating terrorism and safeguarding regional prosperity.

The SCO annual summit concluded on Tuesday and was attended by heads of state of member countries -- China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and leaders of SCO observer nations.

The regional bloc was founded in Shanghai in 2001.