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Message of Congratulation from Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

2004/01/16

H.E. Zhang Deguang

Secretary-General

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

BEIJING

Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the official launch of the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

It is unprecedented and greatly significant that we have completed the SCO mechanism in such a short period of time. This, I believe, testifies strongly to the correctness of the principles of equality and consensus-building, which the SCO has adhered to since its inception. It also reflects the SCO member states' firm resolve to make the Organization an effective mechanism for cooperation in all fields for the benefit of peace, stability and the well-being of their people.

I strongly believe in the historic mission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is to serve as a bridge between the European and Asian continents. This has been determined by the unique geopolitical position of member states of SCO, its advocacy of respect for diversity in culture, belief and tradition, its openness and its commitment to develop extensive international cooperation.

The Russian Federation will spare no effort to support further strengthening of the SCO and make it an important part of the multilateral security and development system at both regional and global level.

I am convinced that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will attain its set goals.

Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation

Moscow, 31 December 2003

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