ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will depart for Tajikistan tomorrow to participate in huddle of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
As per details garnered, the leaders of SCO will meet on October 11-12 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital.
The 17th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of Government Council will be held on October 11-12 in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, Rashid Alimov, the SCO secretary-general, said in an interview with Sputnik.
“The 17th meeting of the SCO Heads of Government Council will be held on October 11-12, 2018, in Dushanbe,” Alimov said.
He added that the preparation for the meeting had already reached the finishing line, as work on drafting the documents, set to be signed during the meeting, was being finished. According to Alimov, these documents are related, among other things, to the financial area, and to the development of economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
“The heads of governments’ discussion will have a primary focus on the implementation of the tasks which the SCO heads of states had set,” Alimov said.
SCO is also currently reviewing a number of applications from other countries who want to join the bloc in various statuses, Alimov revealed.
“There are a few applications from countries seeking SCO membership in different statuses, starting from that of a dialogue partner to permanent member,” Alimov said, asked about the bloc’s expansion.
Meanwhile, the official clarified that getting more members should not be the sole objective, suggesting that expansion should be coupled with better quality of cooperation.
According to Alimov, the organization has noted the negative and biased assessments from some experts who consider it an anti-West bloc.
“We see that [criticism], but most of the time we do not respond to such nonsense, and the [organization] moves on in accordance with its own development strategy that was adopted at the 2015 Ufa summit,” Alimov added.
The organization is committed to globalization, mutually beneficial partnerships and diplomatic settlement, the official concluded.
In June, the Chinese city of Qingdao hosted a meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council. The meeting resulted in a number of documents being signed, including the Program of Cooperation between the SCO Member States in Opposing Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism for 2019-2021; the Plan of Action for 2018-2022 on the implementation of the Treaty on Long-Term Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between SCO Member State; and the Program of Action, aimed at implementing the SCO Antidrug Strategy.
The SCO is an intergovernmental international organization comprising China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan as full members, and Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia as observers. The SCO states cooperate on a number of issues, including the economy, security, culture and science. While the Heads of State Council annual meetings are focused on adopting guidelines on the important areas of SCO cooperation, the heads of government discuss the cooperation strategy, resolve pressing issues and approve the annual budget during their annual meetings.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will return home on Friday.—NNI