Vladimir Putin: Dear ladies and gentlemen!
I agree with what was said to our Chinese friends and Chairman Hu Jintao regarding the extraordinarily warm welcome and the meeting’s interesting programme. The anniversary session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State was perfectly organized and very productive.
We highly value the summit’s results. The decisions made during the meeting do more than define our future priorities. They establish concrete tasks in key areas of cooperation for the six SCO member states and observer countries.
Today we spoke a great deal about the significant results of our cooperation over the past five years. It is really true that since we made the Shanghai Declaration our organization has gained both political power and authority. And it has become a powerful factor in ensuring stability and security in Eurasia.
Today the attention that both states and regional associations are paying to the SCO’s activities is steadily increasing. This interest is proof that the member states have adopted a constructive and open position, and that our equal rights and mutually advantageous partnership is attractive to others. The documents that we adopted today will allow us to work effectively towards further strengthening and developing our organisation.
During the summit we confirmed how the organisation will establish creative cooperation between the various structures operating in the Asia-Pacific region.
We have acquired a lot of experience in independent, open and constructive cooperation and for that reason we are against duplicating activities, unnecessary competition, or creating closed clubs, barriers and divisiveness in the region.
One of the summit’s central themes was developing business cooperation within the SCO.
There are many ways in which our countries’ economies complement each other. For that reason we have a huge range of possibilities for cooperation in energy, developing natural resources, modernizing transport infrastructure and in other sectors. And not only through state structures but also by creating associations of entrepreneurs and financial experts within the SCO. As you know the SCO Inter-Bank Association started operating recently. And yesterday the first session of the organisation's Business Council took place. In general an effective and equal rights partnership can draw our citizens’ living standards closer together and transform Central Asia into one of the world economy’s most dynamic regions.
We also agreed to actively increase cooperation in the spheres of culture and education. Today the SCO member states act as an example of open and mutually advantageous dialogue. It is in our mutual interests to actively expand our ties in education, culture, sport and youth exchanges. Undoubtedly SCO members have things to share. Especially since our peoples established rich spiritual traditions and have made huge contributions to the world’s cultural heritage and civilization.
We also approved the idea of increasing contacts between the parliaments of SCO member states. The purpose of these contacts is to provide a strong legal basis for increasing cooperation.
When discussing regional issues we noted that the SCO will enrich cooperation with observer countries – India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia – and also with Afghanistan in many practical ways. Indeed, we formed a contact group with Afghanistan.
In connection with this I hope that if necessary, and especially in crisis situations, the SCO mechanisms can prove useful in resolving crises. And I expect that all our friends will help resolve the problem of our diplomats who have been taken hostage in Iraq. We are dealing with this problem constantly together with representatives from the international coalition who are responsible for their safety, Iraqi leaders, and our friends in neighbouring states. Today I will take advantage of the opportunity to discuss this problem when meeting one-on-one with my colleagues.
And in conclusion I would like to emphasize once again that the Shanghai spirit has become a reality in relations between our countries, relations based on respecting mutual interests as well as business, spiritual and cultural traditions. This is the guarantee for the SCO’s further successful development and is in the interests of peace and stability in the region.
Thank you very much for your attention.