SCO Leaders Emphasize Strategic Dialogue and Economic Cooperation at Summit

ASTANA — Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country assumed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) chairmanship, emphasized the organization’s role as a guarantor of common and sustainable security despite turbulence in international relations during the SCO Plus format meeting held on the sidelines of the 24th SCO Summit on July 4. 

Photo credit: Akorda

“Regardless of changes in the international situation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization must continue to serve as a guarantor of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security,” Xi said.

Xi expressed gratitude for Kazakhstan’s warm welcome and praised the significant impetus Kazakhstan’s chairmanship had given the SCO. He stressed the need for SCO countries to respect each other’s development paths, support each other in defending core interests, resolve differences through strategic dialogue, and strengthen mutual trust.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the SCO’s foundation on respecting all member states’ opinions and development models. He thanked the Kazakh hosts for organizing the meeting and extended his best wishes to Xi and all Chinese colleagues for its chairmanship at the SCO. 

Acting President of Iran, Mohammad Mokhber, thanked Kazakhstan for its hospitality and emphasized the country’s role in promoting friendly relations between Iran and Central Asia.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko proposed creating a mechanism for bilateral payments in national currencies and establishing a collective financial institution within the SCO to reduce dependency on the dollar. 

President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov announced ongoing efforts to establish the SCO Development Bank and the SCO Development Fund to support project financing.

President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, called for developing a comprehensive cooperation plan to attract investments and technologies in renewable energy and to accelerate digital transformation, emphasizing the importance of the digital economy and advanced IT solutions for the competitiveness of SCO member countries.

Other notable remarks were made by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Initiated by the United Russia party in October 2020, the SCO Plus forum format includes inter-party interaction among SCO member countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States and BRICS, an intergovernmental organization comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates. Speakers from 25 countries first used this format during the SCO Plus international inter-party forum “Economy for People” on October 22-23, 2020.

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