CHINA / National

FMs meet to prepare for summit
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-15 06:15

SHANGHAI: The foreign ministers of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) members, a six-member intergovernmental group, will meet in Shanghai today to pave the way for the SCO Summit to be held in mid-June.

The ministers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are expected to sign several agreements after the annual gathering to set the final agenda for the summit.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters earlier that the ministers would exchange views on deepening SCO co-operation and debate other international and regional issues of common concern.

As Iran has observer status and seeks to become a full member, the country's nuclear issue has been given much attention, though Liu said SCO members are yet to decide whether to discuss it.

In addition to attending the annual meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov began a two-day official visit to China today.

He is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese leaders and his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing in Beijing tomorrow to further the bilateral strategic partnership.

Observers said as this year marks the Year of Russia in China, co-operation between the two countries in various fields is constantly being enhanced and the frequent and in-depth exchange of the two foreign ministers is of great significance in safeguarding global and regional peace and stability.

The Chinese foreign minister also held bilateral talks with visiting Tajikistan Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov yesterday in Shanghai ahead of the gathering.