SCO should find solutions for regional issues: Zardari


Yekaterinburg : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should help find solutions to regional problems and proposed a special mechanism for his country’s involvement in three key areas – security, energy and trade.

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There was need to find concrete solutions instead of stop-gap arrangements, Zardari said while addressing the ninth SCO summit in this Russian industrial city, adding SCO must help finding solutions to regional problems, Online news agency reported.

Terming Russia and China as the two main regional powers, he urged them to play their role in confronting challenges. Zardari also said the SCO could help end extremism and drug trafficking.

“The menace of extremism, terrorism and drugs haunt us,” he said, adding: “The international community should help find the causes of terrorism.”

Urging greater trade among SCO members, Zardari also sought Pakistan’s full membership of the organisation.

The president also congratulated India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Iranian President Mehmood Ahmadinijad on their electoral victories, Online said.

The SCO regional grouping was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996. After the inclusion of Uzbekistan, the members renamed the organization.

India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia are participating in the summit as observers.