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DM highlights SCO's effectiveness for regional security
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Visiting Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said Wednesday the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has played an important role in helping safeguard regional security and stability.

At a meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov, Liang, also Chinese state councilor, said he believes the SCO defense ministers' meeting, which is to be held in Dushanbe, would further strengthen SCO's effectiveness in this regard.

Liang also spoke highly of the Sino-Tajik bilateral relations, saying the good-neighborly friendship and cooperation treaty signed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Rakhmonov in January, 2007, has further solidified the legal foundation for a long-term mutually beneficial cooperation and opened a new era for the relations between the two countries.

Rakhmonov called on the security and defense ministries of all the SCO member countries to strengthen cooperation on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, or known as "three forces", which he said have brought new threats and challenges to regional security and stability.

The president said Tajikistan adheres to the one-China policy, and supports China's efforts to pursue peaceful reunification and safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He also offered his sympathy for victims of the devastating earthquake which hit China's southwest Sichuan province on Monday and voiced the Tajikistan people's solidarity with the Chinese people.

At the invitation of his Tajiki counterpart Sherali Khairulloev, Liang arrived here on Tuesday to att end the defense ministers' meeting of the SCO, which comprises six member countries, namely China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The organization, founded in Shanghai in 2001, pledges to enhance security, trade, cultural, military and judicial cooperation among its member countries.

(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2008)

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