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Twelve countries interested in work of Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Wednesday that SCO is developing rather successfully, gaining more weight.

"Our organization is developing quite successfully. Interest in the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has been shown by 12 countries, besides today's members of the organization," Putin said.

He said there is an agreement to consider the issue on the admission of India and Pakistan to SCO. "Other countries would also like to strengthen our contacts with our organization and this is logical, because it is gaining more and more weight and more significance," said the Russian leader.

The president said that this happens because SCO addresses most vital issues for the region's countries: security, combating terrorism and the drug threat and organized crime. "Certainly, there are also issues related to the development of our states' economies," Putin said.

He welcomed the SCO countries' foreign ministers in the Russian capital, saying that their meeting, in essence, is completing the major preparatory work for the organization's summit due in Ufa (capital of the Bashkortostan republic in the Volga region) in July.

"I hope that a number of issues that have been prepared both within the framework of your departments and other ministries will be coordinated by your and submitted to the heads of state for consideration and approval," the Russian leader told the ministers.

He also said that thus the current SCO Council of Foreign Ministers is a key event within the framework of the summit preparation.

The organization brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 03Jun15]

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