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SCO Summit Starts in Bishkek

BISHKEK – The leaders from Russia, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have gathered at the official presidential residence in Bishkek for the start of a summit of the Eurasian political, economic, and security grouping, RFE/RL reported Friday.
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov has said the summit would focus on expanding cooperation within the SCO on security, fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, economic development, industry, and humanitarian cooperation.
The leaders also would discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, Ushakov added.
He added that Putin planned to explain Russia’s approach toward reaching a peace settlement to the conflict in Syria.
Putin also planned to raise the issues of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018, he added.
Ushakov further added that Putin would talk with other SCO leaders about the “activities in the framework of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group.”
The SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group was established in 2005 but its activities were suspended in 2009.
The group resumed its activities in 2017.
After the summit in Bishkek concludes, Putin, Xi, Central Asian leaders, and senior officials from other countries will convene on June 15 in neighboring Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Kyrgyzstan, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan are the permanent members in SCO and observer states are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia.
(Sahar News)

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