The "Shanghai Five" will enter a new stage of its development with greater vitality and a broader perspective since it has become a more influential international organization, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The main purpose for the coming "Shanghai Five" summit, which is scheduled for June 14-15 in Shanghai, China, is to develop the organization and rename it as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, said Nazarbayev in a recent joint interview with Chinese correspondents in Central Asia.
He said the most significant achievement of the "Shanghai Five" summit is to have successfully solved the problems left during the era of the former Soviet Union, such as border issues as well as political and military tensions.
The agreement on mutual trust in border areas and in the military field, signed during the first "Shanghai Five" summit in Shanghai five years ago, has become the first document to ease the tension in Asia. It helped the five countries, namely China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, to introduce policies to maintain the regional peace and stability, Nazarbayev said.
The five nations set a constructive example to the world when they established mutual trust and reduced the number of armed forces in border areas, said the president.
The five are also willing to make joint efforts to fight national separatism, religious extremism and international terrorism, Nazarbayev stressed.
As for the interest that Uzbekistan and Pakistan have shown to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Kazakh president told reporters that his country welcomed the group's enlargement.
In a separate interview by the Chinese media, Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov said that the "Shanghai Five" nations will enhance cooperation in the fields of transportation, energy development, agriculture and foreign trade in border areas.
Under the initiative of Kazakhstan, the first meeting of prime ministers from "Shanghai Five" nations will be held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, during which time multi-lateral economic and trade cooperation will be discussed, Idrisov said.
The "Shanghai Five" process was launched in Shanghai in April 1996, when the heads of state from the five countries held their first summit meeting.