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Turning 20, SCO walks glorious journey: former secretary-general

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2021-06-16


The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which marks its 20th founding anniversary on June 15, has grown into a major force in facilitating the realization of lasting peace and common development, said former SCO Secretary-General Bolat Nurgaliyev.

Nurgaliyev served as SCO secretary-general from 2007 to 2009 and now works as chairman of the board of the Foreign Policy Research Institute under the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the veteran diplomat said the SCO, though a relatively young bloc, has achieved substantive progress over the past 20 years by strengthening trust between member states in an effective, fruitful and constructive manner.

With eight full members, four observer countries and six dialogue partners, the bloc covers nearly half of the world's population and spans over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass.

Since the very beginning, the SCO saw itself as a key player in safeguarding international security to jointly address common threats and challenges, said Nurgaliyev.

He explained that SCO members have made notable strides in the fight against the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism. Meanwhile, economic and trade cooperation as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges have also been undergoing smooth development.

Rebuffing that the SCO is the "eastern NATO," Nurgaliyev said the SCO always sticks to collective consultation, openness and is ready to cooperate both in the East and the West.

The diplomat said the SCO is constantly developing, galvanized by the Shanghai Spirit featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity, and pursuit of common development.

He said that China has made concrete contributions to the SCO. "I would like to emphasize that the China-proposed ideas of building a community with (a) shared future for mankind and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have stood test within the framework of the SCO."

"Turning 20 years old, the SCO has walked a glorious path. There is a very high level of mutual trust and understanding, with member states ready to jointly respond to challenges on the international agenda," said Nurgaliyev.

"We have a common destiny. We are not only neighbors who were destined to be together, but also close friends and partners," said Nurgaliyev.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.