On 7 June 2017, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev received heads of delegations attending the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting.
Present at the meeting were Defence Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Saken Zhasuzakov, Defence Minister of the People's Republic of China Chang Wanquan, Defence Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu, Defence Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Sherali Mirzo, Defence Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Kabul Berdiev, Chief of the General Staff of the Kyrgyz Republic Rayimberdi Duishenbiyev, and SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov.
President Nazarbayev noted in his welcoming remarks the importance of the SCO defence ministers' meeting held in the run-up to the convocation of the Council of SCO Heads of State in Astana and the opening of EXPO 2017 in the same city.
"The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has gained a reputation of a serious regional association, which was created by states close to each other in cultural, territorial and historical respects to address economic cooperation issues," he said.
According to President Nazarbayev, it is 15 years since the SCO Charter has been adopted, during which period a large amount of joint work has been done.
"It is planned to accept two major countries, India and Pakistan, as full SCO members at the forthcoming Council of SCO Heads of State. Thus, the SCO will represent about 40 percent of the world population. The main thing is to preserve the Shanghai Spirit based on addressing all emerging issues by consensus," he said.
President Nazarbayev stressed the need for strengthening the SCO's economic dimension.
"The New Silk Road programme is what underpins the SCO's positive dynamics. This programme is supported by all member-states, especially by Kazakhstan, a close neighbour of the PRC," he said.
In conclusion, he noted that the work done by the defence ministries should be closely linked with economic integration in the SCO.
Source: President of the Republic of Kazakhstan website www.akorda.kz