Sept. 13 (EIRNS)—Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) today, consisting of Russia, China, and the four “stan” countries Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, and Uzbekistan, Russian President Putin said “Our Organization can make a substantial contribution in the resolution of the Syrian crisis.” “In this regard, close cooperation within the SCO, a firm position to ensure the supremacy of provisions and principles of international law, the leading UN role in world affairs are important today as never before,” Putin stated.
Putin mentioned the Iranian nuclear program, praising the country’s readiness to make headway to resolve the issue. “With satisfaction we note the readiness of Iran to be more open in its nuclear program,” he said. “We believe Iran, as any other state, has the right for peaceful use of atomic energy, including enrichment,” the Russian leader noted. “At the same time, such activity must be put under IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] comprehensive control,” he added.
On Afghanistan, he said whoever comes to power in Kabul after the withdrawal of the bulk of international troops must lay down arms, recognize the Constitution of Afghanistan, and make a final break of its ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations that operate under the umbrella of al-Qaeda. “We believe that after 2014 any foreign military presence in Afghanistan should be based on a decision of the UN Security Council,” the Russian leader noted.
Zhang Xinfeng, director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorism Agency of the SCO, told reporters ahead of Friday’s SCO summit in Bishkek, that potential security threats, mainly from the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism, and separatism, remain visible. “The ‘three evil forces’ tend to propagate religious extremism and recruit more followers via the Internet,” Zhang said, adding that they are highly interconnected with drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, and organized crime.
President Putin also noted the threat the Afghan drug-trafficking poses to the region. He identified counter-action to the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime from Afghanistan as priorities of the SCO states.