22 May 201912:42

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement for the media following the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers, Bishkek, May 22, 2019

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We held a very productive meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), during which we focused on the preparations for the SCO Summit that will take place here in Bishkek during the first half of June.

We reviewed the documents that are being drafted for this occasion, including the main political instrument of the Summit, the Bishkek Declaration, as well as a number of resolutions on enhancing and diversifying cooperation within the SCO, including on countering new challenges and threats.

We paid special attention to enhancing the effectiveness and expanding the reach of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime, extremism and other challenges and threats across the SCO space.

Participants at the meeting noted the importance of stepping up economic cooperation. A new framework proposed by Russia was created to supplement the SCO Business Council and Interbank Consortium. I am referring to the SCO Inter-Regional Cooperation Forum.

We noted the potential for expanding cultural and educational ties. In particular, the participants supported and emphasised the utility of and demand for the activities carried out by the SCO University, as well as projects in healthcare, tourism, digitalisation, and high-technology in general.

I believe that the meeting was quite fruitful, and I hope that the heads of state support the projects that we submit to them.

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