Treaty sees greater security cooperation

By Chen Jialu (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-16 07:30

China and Tajikistan yesterday signed a treaty to step up strategic security cooperation, building on the settlement of the nations' border dispute.

The treaty on Good Neighborly Friendship and Cooperation was signed by President Hu Jintao and visiting Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmonov in Beijing.

Under the terms of the treaty neither side can allow activities or join alliances which undermine the other nation's security or territorial integrity.

The two sides will also cooperate to prevent any threat to each other's security stemming from international and regional crises.

The two sides agreed to adopt measures to crack down on the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as illegal immigration and cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking and gun running.

They will also extend military exchanges to deepen mutual military trust.

China, Russia and four Central Asian states have agreed to hold anti-terrorism drills in Russia this year, according to an earlier Xinhua report.

The two presidents vowed to open a new era of relations between the two nations, on the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Their meeting came seven months after they last met in Shanghai, at the sixth summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The SCO, founded in Shanghai in 2001, groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The heads of the two states promised to continue to support each other's key interests, strengthening transport, education, energy and agriculture cooperation.

Hu described Rakhmonov as an old friend of China and spoke highly of his contribution to bilateral ties.

The Tajikistan President arrived in Beijing yesterday, kicking off a week-long visit, which is his first overseas trip since being re-elected in November.

He paid his first visit to China 14 years ago his maiden state visit after taking office.

Today Rakhmonov meets with top legislator Wu Bangguo, and will also attend the China-Tajikistan Investment Forum.

China plans to establish a friendship association to enhance ties with central Asian countries, and increase financial assistance for human resources development under the Central Asia Regional Economic Co-operation Programme.

Meanwhile at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, which finished yesterday, a consensus was reached to forge closer ties with the SCO, which was described as "ASEAN's immediate neighbor and a potential partner in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region."

(China Daily 01/16/2007 page2)

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