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Executive Secretary of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Visits the Republic of Kyrgyzstan

2005/04/11

From April 5 to 7, 2005, entrusted by the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, Executive Secretary of SCO Zhang Deguang led a delegation to the country for a working visit.

The purpose of the visit is to learn about the situation of Kyrgyzstan and exchange opinions with the leaders of the country on the urgent issues of economic and political cooperation of SCO.

On April 6, Kyrgyz Acting President and Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev met with the SCO Executive Secretary in the government building.

During the meeting Bakiyev noted that the Kyrgyz government will continue to promote the already started and the ongoing work within the framework of SCO in an all-round way.

Bakiyev said that during his term as the Kyrgyz Prime Minister from 2001 to 2002 he personally took part in the establishment of SCO. He made high remarks on the purposes and tasks of SCO, pointing out that the work of the organization is important and necessary. He stressed that they will comprehensively implement their obligations within the SCO framework and the agreements formulated by the organization.

The Prime Minister especially emphasized the importance of strengthening the economic ties of the member states of SCO, which he pointed out under the current complicated situations is of great significance to Kyrgyzstan. As neighbors China and Kyrgyzstan should live in harmony and help each other. The key is to maintain stability across Central Asia and enable people there to live a decent life.

The Prime Minister noted that the Kyrgyz government is taking all possible measures to normalize the domestic situation and maintain social and economic stability.

The Executive Secretary expressed satisfaction that Kyrgyzstan is ready to continue developing and strengthening its relations with SCO and agreed on Bakiyev's remarks on the role of the organization, emphasizing that one of the major tasks of the organization is to rejuvenate the economy of its member states and raise the welfare of their people. It is important to score a win-win outcome for all the member states through cooperation within the framework of the organization.

He added that the SCO is stepping into a new stage of development and all the mechanisms of the organization have been established with effective operation. At present the key task is to concentrate on realizing the prescribed objective and making tangible results. To implement the Plan of Measures to carry out the Program of Multilateral Trade-and-Economic Cooperation, establish the SCO development fund and the entrepreneur committee will help realize the objective.

According to the wish expressed by Kyrgyzstan at the meeting in Bishkek on February 19 of heads of the ministries responsible for foreign economic and foreign trade activities of the member states, the organization is studying a series of projects in the areas of hydropower, water conservancy, road and railway transportation.

The Executive Secretary then introduced the details of the preparations for the SCO Summit to be held in Astana at the beginning of July to the Kyrgyz Prime Minister and expressed hope that Kyrgyzstan will take an active part in the process.

Talking about the external relations of SCO, the Executive Secretary pointed out the international reputation of the organization keeps rising and its external exchanges continue expanding. He said that the organization has obtained the status of UN General Assembly observer and conducted cooperation with UN agencies including ESCAP and international financial and other organizations as well. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of SCO and that of ASEAN will soon be signed. A number of big countries have expressed interest in obtaining the observer status of SCO. The organization unswervingly pursues the policy of opening up and expects to conduct equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with other international organizations and countries.

At the conclusion of the talks, the Executive Secretary said that it is the sincere wish of all SCO member states that the Kyrgyz people enjoy welfare, peace and tranquility, the Kyrgyz economy develops rapidly and its international reputation rises constantly.

When meeting with the Executive Secretary of SCO in the Parliament on April 6, Omurbek Tekebayev, speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament introduced the domestic political situation of Kyrgyzstan in details, pointing out that the Kyrgyz situation is gradually stepping on a normal constitutional track.

The upcoming presidential election in June 2005 will be Kyrgyzstan's most important step of strengthening legal system. Kyrgyzstan will take all possible measures to ensure the honesty and justice of the presidential election.

Tekebayev said that the priority of Kyrgyz foreign policy will remain unchanged. Therefore he welcomes the visit of the SCO delegate to his country which once again demonstrates the hope of the SCO member states to see a prosperous Kyrgyzstan.

The Executive Secretary briefed Tekebayev about the main direction of SCO's work, stressing that it is very important to strengthen the legal basis of cooperation within the framework of SCO and establish the mechanism of exchanges of parliament.

The Executive Secretary expressed hope that Kyrgyzstan can score achievements in recovering the economy, defeating poverty and consolidating legal system as soon as possible. Like others he is concerned about the situation of Kyrgyzstan, but after his visit he found that the situation there is gradually normalizing, said Zhang.

On the same day, Zhang held talks with Kyrgyz Acting Foreign Minister Roza Otunbaeva. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on the work of SCO in various fields.

Otunbaeva extended welcome to Diplomat Zhang Deguang who she knows very well. She said that in 1996 they worked together to set up the "Shanghai Five" and as one of founding members of SCO Kyrgyzstan will continue to play an active part in the activities of the organization.

Otunbaeva raised a series of suggestions on improving the efficiency of SCO and enhancing its dynamism and attractiveness.

She especially stressed the importance of achieving tangible results in the cooperation of security, economy and trade and humanistic areas, noting that Kyrgyzstan pays special attention to conducting international tourism cooperation and believes that the cooperation in this area will benefit the development of its national industries and infrastructure construction. She also raised the proposal that it is necessary to take advantage of the knowledge potential of SCO member states, such as establishing a thinktank to facilitate the generation of new ideas.

The Executive Secretary supports the proposal of Otunbaeva and expressed hope to further develop cooperation with the Foreign Ministry of Kyrgyzstan within the framework of SCO.

He said that it is necessary to carefully prepare the SCO Summit in Astana and put focus on studying new thoughts oriented toward the future.

On April 7, Zhang Deguang met with Kyrgyz Minister for Economic Development, Foreign Trade & Industry Muraliyev and Minister of National Security Aitbayev. Both sides exchanged opinions on economic cooperation and regional security and stability in a targeted manner.

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