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13 June 2019, 14:12

Belarus president arrives in Bishkek for SCO summit

Aleksandr Lukashenko at Manas International Airport
Aleksandr Lukashenko at Manas International Airport

BISHKEK, 13 June (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has arrived in Kyrgyzstan on a two-day working visit. The aircraft with the Belarusian head of state on board landed at Manas International Airport, BelTA informs.

The Belarusian head of state is expected to take part in the meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) where Belarus has an observer status.

Aleksandr Lukashenko is expected to speak at the extended-participation meeting of the council. The head of state will outline Belarus' stance on the topical issues of the international agenda and ways to promote cooperation within this integration project.

According to TASS, the SCO heads of state are set to meet in Bishkek on 14 June behind closed doors. The plans are to discuss the state and prospects for further enhancement of cooperation in such areas as security, measures to counter terrorism and drug trafficking, economic matters, industry, cooperation in the humanitarian sector. The summiteers will also talk over the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

The one-on-one talks will be followed by a meeting with the participation of the heads of the delegations of the observer states. The meeting will also be attended by heads of several international organizations, including the UN deputy secretary general, the chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, the acting CSTO secretary general and the chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission. The participants of the meeting are set to discuss global security and regional stability.

The SCO leaders are expected to sign the Bishkek Declaration that will include ways outlined by the member states for further expansion of the organization. The document will also reflect the coordinated assessment on the most important international and regional issues. Apart from that, the SCO member states are set to sign a big package of other documents.

On 13 June, Bishkek will host an informal dinner on behalf of the Kyrgyzstan president and a gala concert.

The decision to grant Belarus with the observer status in the SCO was taken at the summit in Ufa in July 2015. Belarus also participates as an observer in meetings of the SCO Heads of Government Council, meetings of ministers responsible for foreign economic and trade activities, conferences on trade and economic cooperation, and events of NGOs such as the Business Council and the Interbank Association.

Belarus is interested in the development of the common SCO transport space, international road transportation, and also the coordinated development of roads and rail transport, which will enable the country to participate in multimodal transportation, improvement of transport infrastructure and transit potential. Belarus also joined the Agreement between the governments of the member states of the organization on the creation of favorable conditions for international road transport. Belarus also joined the SCO Agreement on International Road Transportation.

Belarus-SCO cooperation in the military field is dynamic as well.

Belarus interacts with the SCO in many areas of cultural and humanitarian cooperation, including meetings of culture ministers, contacts in cultural information centers, foundations and unions.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded on 15 June 2001 for the strengthening of mutual trust and good-neighborliness between member states; promotion of productive cooperation in the political, trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural fields, education, energy sector, transport, tourism, environmental protection and other areas; joint efforts to ensure and maintain peace, security and stability in the region; promotion of a democratic, just and rational new international political and economic order.

At present SCO members are India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. There are also four observer states: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia. Apart from that, there are six dialogue partner states: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.

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