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Defense minister meets SCO counterparts
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Visiting Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and his counterparts within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) agreed Friday to enhance defense cooperation among the member states and to contribute to regional peace and prosperity.

During their meeting, Liang, also Chinese state councilor, spoke highly of China's bilateral cooperation with other SCO members, especially in the defense field. He said that China gave priority to its defense and security cooperation with SCO members in its military cooperation with other countries.

Kazakh Defense Minister Daniyal Akhmetov said the signing of the cooperation pact of the defense ministries of SCO member states would not only provide the legal basis for their multilateral defense cooperation but also promote bilateral military cooperation.

Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov said Kyrgyzstan attached great importance to its friendly cooperative ties with China, especially in the military field.

The SCO has become an effective platform for its members to cope with regional security threats such as the "three evil forces," said Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Khairulloev.

Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Aleksandr Kolmakov meanwhile expressed a willingness to work with China in further expanding and deepening their cooperation to ensure sustained development of their bilateral ties.

Uzbek Deputy Defense Minister Rustam Niyazov said the SCO has been playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding security and stability in Central Asia.

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

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)

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