YEKATERINBURG - Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries and observer nations began their annual summit here on Tuesday to discuss issues of the global financial crisis and regional security.
Chinese President Hu Jintao attends the small-sized group meeting of the leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states and observers in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 16, 2009.[Xinhua]
In his opening speech at the summit, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said the SCO would develop tools to overcome the current global financial crisis.
He proposed a special experts' meeting to tackle the crisis, which he said would be attended by representatives of banks and other financial institutions. The president said that the SCO leaders would not only consider ways to overcome the financial crisis, but would also consider building the basis for future cooperation.
Sri Lanka and Belarus have been accepted by the SCO as dialogue partners, Medeveve said.
The summit is attended by heads of state from SCO member countries - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and leaders from SCO observer nations - Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran. Also present at the meeting are Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, a guest country of the SCO, and representatives of the United Nations and some other regional and international organizations.
The SCO, a regional organization, was founded in Shanghai in 2001.