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SCO leaders pledge enhanced cooperation

Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Thursday pledged enhanced cooperation in political, economic and trade, and cultural fields.

In a joint declaration released after a summit in Moscow, the leaders vowed to further develop a partnership among the six countries to face new threats and challenges.

The leaders said they were happy with the progress made in the institutionalization of the SCO and the deepening of cooperation among member countries since the St. Petersburg summit last June.

They pointed out that efficient and pragmatic cooperation is important in foreign policy, national defense, law enforcement, emergency rescue, foreign trade, transportation and culture.

The leaders held that the upcoming summit of heads of government is of great significance and the preparation for the summit would accelerate the negotiations on measures to facilitate trade and investment.

The leaders stressed the need for their foreign ministries to exchange views on major international issues, including exchanges within the framework of the United Nations and other international organizations.

They announced that the SCO, as an open organization, is willing to communicate with other countries and international organizations.

The SCO evolved from the mechanism of security-centered " Shanghai Five." It was developed into a regional organization in 2001 of six members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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