Vladimir Putin took part in the meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of State.
After a restricted meeting, the leaders were joined by members of the delegations of the member states, leaders of the observer countries and representatives of a number of international organisations. This year, India and Pakistan attended the summit for the first time as new member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Summit participants discussed various aspects of security and antiterrorist cooperation, the current economic situation, the development of humanitarian ties and coordination on regional issues, in particular Afghanistan and Syria.
The main political document signed by the participants of the meeting was the Qingdao Declaration, which reflects the consolidated approaches of the SCO member states regarding current issues of regional and global politics, laying out a common vision for the further development of multifaceted cooperation within the SCO.
They also adopted an Action Plan for 2018–2022 to implement the Treaty on Long-term Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the SCO Member States, and the SCO Member States Programme on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism for 2019–2021. The leaders also approved the Anti-Drug Strategy of the SCO member states until 2023 and 20 more joint documents.
After the official events, Vladimir Putin talked to the Russian media.
The day before, in Qingdao, the Russian President held a number of meetings with his counterparts in the SCO.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
I share my colleague’s opinion that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is successfully progressing. With the accession of India and Pakistan – whose leaders are attending the meeting for the first time as full-fledged members – our organisation has become stronger, expanding its boundaries and capabilities.
I would like to stress that countering terrorism remains the priority for cooperation within the SCO. The programme adopted today on countering terrorism, separatism and extremism identifies cooperation benchmarks in that area for the coming three years.
The programme envisions holding joint drills and counter-terror operations, streamlining a closer exchange of experience and operational information. We expect the SCO Youth Council to actively participate in our work on preventing the recruitment of young people to participate in terrorist activities.
One of the SCO’s priorities is assisting in the political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts near the external borders of the organisation’s member states. The situation in Afghanistan calls for special attention, I agree with my colleagues who spoke about this earlier.
It is crucial that we fight the terrorist threat emanating from that country in unison, curb drug production and trafficking and render aid to Afghanistan in its national reconciliation, economic revival and stabilisation.
There has been good progress in the fight against terrorism in Syria. Thanks to the coordinated actions of Russia, the Syrian Government, Iran, Turkey, and other partners, including Kazakhstan, terrorist activity has become largely suppressed in that country. This opened the way to a political settlement.
Colleagues, I would like to note that the Government of Syria today controls an area that is home to about 90 percent of the country’s population. Damascus is following the agreements reached at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi in January, and has sent proposals on constitutional committee members from the Government of the Syrian Republic to prepare the new fundamental law of the country. Therefore, the Syrian Government is fully abiding by its obligations and has shown its commitment to a political dialogue. Now it is up to the opposition.
Undoubtedly, our countries cannot help worrying about the situation around the Iranian nuclear program. The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action could destabilise the situation. Russia stands for the consistent, rigorous implementation of the JCPOA. For our part, we will continue to honour all our commitments.
The problem on the Korean Peninsula is having a significant impact on the security situation in the SCO space. We positively assess the desire of Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington to reach a comprehensive resolution of the crisis through dialogue and negotiations in line with the roadmap proposed by Russia and China.
The SCO should continue to help normalise the situation in the region. Russia welcomes the forthcoming summit between the United States and North Korea and acknowledges China’s great contribution to the resolution of the Korean crisis.
An important track of SCO activity is the development of mutually beneficial economic ties between our countries. Trade and investment are gaining momentum. We are simplifying the mutual availability of goods and services, improving customs regulations, eliminating unnecessary administrative barriers, and implementing joint projects in energy, transport and agriculture.
We are working on several integration initiatives between our countries. In May, a cooperation agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and China was signed in Astana, Kazakhstan. It is important to take additional steps that would lead to increased coordination in the implementation of trade, investment and infrastructure projects through the EAEU and China’s Belt and Road programme. Russia and China are also preparing an agreement on the Eurasian Economic Partnership, which, of course, will be open to all the SCO countries.
I would like to use this opportunity to invite representatives of your countries to participate in the first meeting of the heads of regions of the SCO member states and in the Forum on Small Business of the SCO and BRICS regions, which are to be held in the Russian Federation.
Colleagues, at the end of the year, the term of office of the Secretary General of the SCO and the Director of the Executive Committee of the RATS expires. I would like to express my gratitude to our colleagues for their efficient work and wish success to their successors.
In conclusion, I would like to thank President Xi Jinping and all our Chinese friends for their very warm welcome and hospitality and congratulate China on its successful presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Today, Kyrgyzstan is taking over. Our Kyrgyz friends can count on all possible assistance from the Russian side.