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Chinese President Says SCO Enters New Era
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Chinese President Hu Jintao said Thursday the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) this year signifies that the regional organization has entered a new era of development.


"At the summit, we agreed to improve the SCO's internal construction, carry out agreements, boost cooperation in specific projects, and expand the exchanges and cooperation with observers and related international organizations," Hu said at a joint news conference following the summit meeting.


These moves will help the SCO yield more substantial fruits, better maintain regional security and stability, and bring benefits to the peoples throughout the world, the president said.


As an intergovernmental organization established in 2001, the SCO comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India were accepted as SCO observers in 2004 and 2005.


Heads of state and representatives of SCO members and observers, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and representatives of some international organizations attended Thursday's summit.


The summit passed a fifth-anniversary declaration of the SCO and endorsed a series of documents, including one on international information security.


"China will, as always, work with all sides to promote the SCO development and turn the region into a harmonious one featuring lasting peace and common prosperity," Hu said.


With joint efforts, the summit has fulfilled the aim of enhancing mutual trust, promoting union and deepening cooperation, he said. "The summit is a complete success."


"We highly appreciate the achievements the SCO has fulfilled in mechanism building, security, economy, culture and foreign affairs over the past five years," Hu said.


The "Shanghai Spirit", which embodies mutual trust and benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and a desire for common development, is the common treasure of all sides and the principle guiding the SCO's further development, he said.


"We will carry forward the 'Shanghai Spirit' and work for an SCO that features more pragmatic cooperation, more efficient action and more important role," he said.


Following the end of Thursday's summit, Kyrgyzstan will become the SCO's new chair with the next SCO summit to be held in Kyrgyzstan.


(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2006)

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