SCO summit opens in China's Qingdao

SCO summit opens in China's Qingdao

The two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit is set to kick off in the Chinese city of Qingdao, bringing together the leaders of such member states as Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

During the summit, SCO countries are expected to ink a batch of documents on customs cooperation, trade, agriculture, tourism and environment. The leaders are also supposed to focus on the issues of global trade and counterterrorism.

Along with the Heads of State Council (HSC) session, which is the SCO's supreme decision-making body, the leaders will hold a number of bilateral meetings on the summit’s sidelines.

Kremlin Aide for international issues Yuri Ushakov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a series of bilateral meetings today on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

Putin is scheduled to hold negotiations with the leaders of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran and Mongolia. The SCO summit’s major events will be held on Sunday and on the same day the Russian president will hold talks with Pakistani leader Mamnoon Hussain.

The Russian presidential aide pointed out that there would also be a trilateral meeting involving Russia, China and Mongolia. 

At the meeting between Putin and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, the sides plan to exchange views on vital regional and international issues and pay attention to the Russian-Mongolian cooperation in multilateral organizations and boosting cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the SCO.

Speaking on Putin’s meeting with Mamnoon Hussain, Ushakov said one of the most important areas of cooperation is countering terrorism. In particular, Russia is providing assistance to Pakistan in enhancing its counter-terrorism potential.

At the meeting with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Putin is scheduled to exchange views on topical international issues. The Kremlin aide said Russia and Tajikistan have similar positions in the framework of integration associations and international organizations such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

During the meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Putin plans to pay special attention to the issues of fighting against international terrorism.

Putin also plans to discuss with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani a range of issues of regional agenda, including the situation around the Iran nuclear deal and also the preparations for the 5th Caspian Summit.

SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov said that around 20 documents have been put on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of State, which concern almost all regional and global issues – from the uncompromising war on terror and extremism to the expansion of cooperation in the areas of the economy, trade and environmental protection. 

In addition, the Plan of joint actions for the implementation of the SCO Tourism Cooperation Program for 2019-2020 will be adopted in the framework of the summit.

At the end of the two-day summit, the leaders are expected to sign a Qingdao Declaration.

It will be the first SCO summit since its expansion, when India and Pakistan were included as full members at the Astana summit in Kazakhstan last year.

Putin has started his state visit to Beijing yesterday and already met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime minister Li Keqiang in Beijing.