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SCO Summit starts in Dushanbe

Dushanbe, Aug 28, IRNA - The 8th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization kicked off here on Thursday in presence of senior delegates from the member states.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in the Tajik capital on Wednesday to attend the summit at the invitation of his Tajik counterpart Imomali Rakhmon.

During the day-long meeting, several topics including current status in Afghanistan and the Caucasus, energy crisis in Central Asia, and settlement of regional crises will be discussed.

Strengthening security cooperation aimed at establishment of regional security and stability, combat against foreign threats, and avenues to bolster political and economic relations among the member states will also be reviewed by the participant delegates.

A joint statement will be issued at the end of the meeting by the participant delegates.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the SCO permanent members, while Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan have observer status.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Energy Minister Parviz Fattah, and senior presidential advisor, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi are accompanying the Iranian president.

President Ahmadinejad is to address the summit. He will also review the latest regional and international developments with his counterparts participating in the summit.

Earlier, Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhan Zarifi said his country is interested in seeing the Islamic Republic join SCO.

"Iran plays a crucial role in the region," he said, adding that the Islamic Republic's bonds with the SCO would empower the organization," he said.

SCO is an intergovernmental economic organization which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

... Payvand News - 08/28/08 ... --

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