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NUR-SULTAN, June 5, 2019 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Beibut Atamkulov, met with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretary-General Vladimir Norov during his visit as the head of the SCO observer mission to monitor the early presidential elections in Kazakhstan.
Mr Norov noted that the SCO Secretariat attached great importance to the current mission, the 48th consecutive mission over the last 15 years of SCO activities.
The SCO Secretary-General noted: “Thanks to the participation of seven candidates, including a female representative, who presented a variety of political programs, the elections are very competitive and provide the voters an opportunity to choose between varying options.”
The SCO observers will operate at polling stations in 7 largest cities of Kazakhstan. The mission accredited 25 observers-representatives of legislative, executive and elective governmental bodies of seven SCO member states, as well as officials of the Secretariat and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, which are two permanent bodies of the SCO.
The sides discussed the status and prospects of SCO development in politics, security, trade and economy, cultural and humanitarian dimensions. They also discussed the agenda and the upcoming SCO Summit to be held on June 13-14 in Bishkek. In this context, the Kazakh Minister noted the results of the previous Foreign Ministers Council, held on May 22 in Bishkek, as well as successful Kyrgyz chairmanship of the SCO.
The SCO Secretary-General commended the SCO initiatives of the First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev designed to strengthen the entire spectrum of multifaceted cooperation among the SCO countries.
It was noted that interaction in the framework of the SCO is an important course of Kazakhstan's foreign policy and that Nur-Sultan stands for balanced development of all cooperation directions within the Organization. At the same time, Kazakhstan considers that cooperation between the SCO member states in trade and economy is a priority for long-term prospects.
The SCO is gradually becoming an organization of emerging economies. Trade-economic cooperation remains one of major components of the Organization's activity. All SCO countries are focusing more on industrial cooperation, and creating favorable conditions for SME development.
In this regard, there is a need to unite the efforts of Central Asian countries to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, investment, culture and humanitarian field, tourism.
Mr Norov highly appreciated Kazakhstan's contribution to the SCO development, which was, in his words, an important binding element. He also noted the outcomes of the historical Astana Summit in 2017, when the Organization expanded for the first time when it accepted India and Pakistan as full-fledged members.
Note to editors: The SCO Secretariat has been monitoring elections since 2004. For the last 15 years 47 missions have been formed, 10 of them in Kazakhstan.
The 48th SCO observer mission consists of 25 members from the SCO Secretariat and member-states. The mission covers 3 cities and 6 regions - Akmola, Almaty, Atyrau, East Kazakhstan, Karaganda and Turkestan.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001. The main goals include strengthening mutual trust, friendship and neighborliness, promotion of effective cooperation in politics, trade and economy, science and technology, culture, education, energy transport and environment.
The members of the SCO members include India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. SCO observers are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia. SCO dialogue partners are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.