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New SCO president, Tajikistan, pledges deeper cooperation

By Liu Xuan | | Updated: 2021-01-12 20:52
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Photo taken on June 9, 2019 shows banners for Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on a street in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tajikistan vowed to give priority to preventing the spread of the pandemic and eliminating its impact on the social and economic development of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states as the country took over this years’ rotating presidency.

One of the main tasks for participants should be “to keep working together” to further develop the SCO as one of the important international organizations, and use all available opportunities and resources to help each other, especially when the pandemic is still raging, said Saidzoda Zohir Ozod, Tajikistan’s ambassador to China.

“Thus, we will promote a plan of priority measures to deal with the impact of the coronavirus on the regional economy, as well as the fields of finance and food security,” he said.

This plan includes promoting the establishment of the organization’s financial institutions, setting up SCO’s own electronic trading platform, and expanding the network of international logistics centers within the organization.

The diplomat made the remarks on Tuesday in Beijing during a press conference, announcing these priorities after Tajikistan took the organization’s helm for 2021.

Being an intergovernmental international organization, the SCO was founded in June 2001 in Shanghai, with eight member states, including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

Considering the continuation of the pandemic and its impact on public health, Saidzoda said Tajikistan plans to encourage experts from the SCO countries to continue to exchange their experience on preventing and fighting the virus, provide humanitarian assistance and conduct online consultations.

Together in a targeted manner, the organization also will continue to address global challenges and security threats, including cybersecurity issues, terrorism, separatism and extremism, according to the ambassador.

In terms of regional security and stability, Saidzoda said Tajikistan will “continue to pay close attention” to the development of the situation in Afghanistan.

He said the country aims to assist the SCO-Afghanistan contact group to actively carry out its work, implement the relevant road map and take further action to properly handle the situation in the country, and continue to support and implement the goal of revitalizing the social economy of Afghanistan regional projects.

“We also believe that it is necessary to continue the practice of the SCO and the United Nations in jointly organizing high-level events, strengthening interaction and dialogue, and actively expanding practical cooperation with regional partners.”

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