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Enhancing Regional Cooperation at the SCO Summit


President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta visited Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on August 15 to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. The SCO, a regional cooperation organization founded in June 2001, includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as members.

In his address to the SCO, President Karzai urged regional countries to focus on fighting drugs and smuggling and cited terrorism and drugs as the two major threats to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

"These two major menaces are not only halting our journey towards progress and prosperity, but also endangering the peace, stability and progress of the region," he said.

The President highlighted the economic progress of Afghanistan, and expressed his government’s eagerness to establish stronger ties with SCO members.

"Destinies of countries of the regional are intertwined. Therefore, their economic development and peace and stability could not be separated from each other," said the President.

Following a meeting with President Karzai, Chinese President Hu Jintao stated that China supports Afghanistan’s reconstruction effort. “The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing the partnership of all-round cooperation with Afghanistan and is willing to remain Afghanistan's good neighbor, friend and partner forever,” he said.

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