SCO summit

June 13, 2018

President Mamnoon Hussain at the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Qindgao urged member states to consider the establishment of a development fund to eliminate terrorism and extremism. He was attending the SCO summit at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping who chaired the meeting at the Qingdao International Conference Centre in the cultural and port city of Shandong province.

This was the first summit held after the inclusion of Pakistan in the SCO. Previously, Pakistan had attended the summit only as an observer. The leaders of all eight member countries attended the summit, including President of Kazakhstan N. A. Nazarbayev, Chinese President XI Jinping, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President E.Rahmon and Uzbek President Sh. M. Mirziyoyev, in addition to Modi and Hussain. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia and Turkmenistan attended the meeting as observers.

President of Pakistan held talks with leaders of other representing countries, but there were no direct talks between Pakistan and India. Though Mamnoon Hussain and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands in the event. It was being expected that SCO will provide Pakistan and India a platform to work together to increase mutual trust. Both countries, particularly India should realize that only way forward for neighbouring countries is to improve bilateral relationship based on the principles of cooperation and mutual benefit.

President met with Chinese counterpart and both decided to further strengthen bilateral ties as both countries attach great importance to bilateral relations. President Mamnoon also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sideline of SCO summit, Rouhani highlighted the close cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad in various fields and assured that Iran can be a reliable source for supplying energy to Pakistan.

SCO has the potential to lift the economy of representative countries, it is a matter of urgency that all efforts are made to strengthen SCO as viable multilateral forum. SCO provides a necessary platform all the member states to indulge in honest dialogue aimed at finding the ways to establish peace, prosperity and development in the region. In international relations regional organizations have emerged as successful model to lift the whole region economically, European Union is the prime example of such organizations. Central and south Asian nations can make SCO a successful regional organization that can put them on the path of mutual prosperity and development.

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