`SCO won’t evolve into NATO style military forum`

The SCO currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Updated: Jun 07, 2012, 09:50 AM IST

Beijing: China has denied the possibility of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) evolving into NATO style military and political bloc as the forum`s 12th summit concluded here with calls to counter terrorism and beef up regional stability.

Discounting reports likening the SCO to an eastern NATO, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said that the charter of the SCO determined its nature of non-alliance, non-confrontation, not targeting at any third country or organisation and openness to outside parties.

There were speculations that SCO, dominated by China and Russia, could evolve into a major security forum as the two scaled up their relations to thwart United States pronounced push into the Asia Pacific with more military engagement.

Liu told a media briefing here the robust development of the SCO lies in its quest for a new model of partnership for regional organisation, which conforms to the current trend of peace and development.

The China backed the SCO, a security forum was founded in Shanghai in June 2001, and currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India are four observer states and its dialogue partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka.

The two-day summit attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna concluded on Thursday. In his speech at the summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao called on leaders of SCO member states to promote mutual trust and regional stability and cooperation, and to expand the grouping`s global influence.

All members need to counter the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, curb drug trafficking and transnational organised crimes, and send clear and concerted signals on major issues within the region and of the surrounding areas, Hu said.

All members should step up their support for each other on issues concerning core interests, including sovereignty territorial integrity, national security, social stability, and the path of development, he said.

The Chinese President also said that international and regional situation was complex and volatile, thus bringing both opportunities and challenges to the multinational organisation.

He said the SCO countries should work hard to materialise common prosperity.

Their cooperation should focus on the four key areas of finance, energy, food, and transportation.

Leaders of other SCO member states agreed that the forum has played a key role in promoting cooperation, jointly confronting dangers and challenges, as well as maintaining regional security and stability, a report of Chinese news agency Xinhua said.

They also agreed that all members should improve cooperation in trade, food, energy security, infrastructure and law-enforcement security, explore new ways of financing, and improve their quick-reaction ability.

All leaders expressed concern about the situation in Afghanistan, and hoped the country can restore peace, stability and development at an early date.

They also discussed the Syrian situation and the Iranian nuclear issue, and urged political solutions to these problems

The session was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.