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SCO summit opens in Dushanbe
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Leaders from member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) gathered in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe Thursday for a summit, which will focus on security, economic and cultural cooperation among the member states.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders attending the summit will exchange views on current major international and regional issues and discuss how to resolutely fight the three forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism through intensive coordination, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry officials.

At the meeting, the leaders will also discuss ways to promote the integrity of SCO member nations through free trade and facilitated investment, the officials said.

The leaders are expected to sign a political document on SCO members' common position on a series of major international and regional issues and the regulations on dialogue partner status.

They are also expected to issue a joint communique on the achievements of the summit, and sign some other cooperation documents on security and economy.

"I believe the summit in Dushanbe will effectively promote peace and stability in the region and be an important meeting to expand the organization's influence and deepen practical cooperation in various fields," a senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official has said earlier.

Founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India are observers of the organization.

The SCO member states cover an area of over 30 million square kilometers, or about three fifths of Eurasia, with a population of 1.455 billion, about a quarter of the world's total.

In the past seven years, the SCO has made important contributions to strengthening mutual trust among its members, deepening pragmatic cooperation and safeguarding regional security and stability.

(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2008)

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