The Expert Working Group (EWG) affiliated with the Meeting of Defence Ministers of the SCO Member States held its 7th meeting in Moscow on 31 October — 1 November.
The meeting was attended by delegations of the SCO member states' armed forces, the SCO Secretariat, RATS Executive Committee and the Republic of Belarus, a SCO observer.
The EWG discussed current aspects of cooperation between the SCO member states' defence agencies, including those related to the activities to be performed during Russia's SCO presidency in 2020.
The Russian side informed the participants of its intention to send the SCO member states invitations to a joint meeting of heads of the defence agencies of the SCO, the CIS and the CSTO scheduled for June 2020 and to be held in Moscow.
The participants exchanged information and opinions on important issues regarding maintaining security in the SCO area and considered further steps in the organisation and holding of the Peace Mission joint antiterrorist command-staff exercises. The exercises are slated to be conducted in the Russian Federation in 2020.
The meeting participants spoke on current issues of international and regional security as well as on the efforts to preserve peace and stability. The speakers pointed out the importance and topicality of discussing such issues and agreed to continue such presentations as part of the EWG activity.
At the meeting, the SCO Secretariat representative advised the participants on progress in the performance of domestic procedures for enacting the Protocol on amending and augmenting the 27 June 2007 Agreement between Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Holding Joint Military Exercises. The Protocol's implementation will enable India and Pakistan, as well as other states that wish to become SCO members, to join the Agreement on Holding Joint Military Exercises and fully participate in them.
Those attending the meeting expressed appreciation for the Russian Defence Ministry's work in preparing and holding the 7th EWG meeting and thanked it for the hospitality and favourable working conditions.