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Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Mr. Dimitry Mezentsev, who is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Secretary Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, met him at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

The Foreign Secretary warmly welcoming the Secretary General and his delegation said that Pakistan appreciated the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states which form the basis of the “Shanghai spirit”. He lauded progress made by the SCO since its inception in 2001.

The Foreign Secretary mentioned that it was satisfying to note that SCO’s interaction with the observer states had been raised to a qualitatively higher level. He particularly appreciated outreach initiative of the Secretary General to the observer states. The Foreign Secretary emphasized that Pakistan had exceptionally strong credentials to become full member of the SCO. He underlined that Pakistan’s membership would bring the SCO a step closer to achieving its vision of regional economic cooperation because of its deep rooted historical and cultural links and strong economic and strategic complementarities. He mentioned that Pakistan fully endorsed SCO’s ideals and objectives for durable peace in the region.

The Secretary General stated that SCO had been effectively working to further develop practical cooperation among the member states and to coordinate efforts to obtain and deepen multilateral cooperation focusing on security and stability as well as global threats and challenges being faced by the member states and the region. He said that provision of sustainable socio-economic development had become the forefront task of the SCO. He underlined that SCO member states were opposed to terrorism, separatism, extremism, illicit trafficking of drugs as well as transnational organized crimes.

The Secretary General mentioned that his first ever visit to Pakistan which is an important regional country had provided him an opportunity to see efforts made by Pakistan in combating terrorism and reviving economy to bring peace and stability in the country and the region. He appreciated Pakistan’s active and regular participation in the SCO’s meetings. He mentioned that expansion of the SCO is being actively discussed at various levels in the organization.

February 28, 2014

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