By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan intends to expand cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and to raise it to a qualitatively new level, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said on April 9.
He made the remarks during a meeting in Baku with the delegation led by the SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov.
Thanking the secretary general for the support provided in the development of ties between the SCO and Azerbaijan, Mammadyarov noted the friendly relations and relations of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the SCO member countries at bilateral level.
The minister noted that the East-West, North-South and South-West transport corridor projects implemented with the participation of Azerbaijan open wide opportunities for cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Alimov, in turn, said that Azerbaijan is a dialogue partner of the SCO, and positively assessed the active participation of Azerbaijan in the cultural and social events held within the organization.
The secretary general expressed gratitude for the conditions created for monitoring the presidential elections in Azerbaijan and noted fruitful meetings held in this regard, direct familiarization with the pre-election environment and the necessary preparatory measures for monitoring the elections.
The meeting also touched upon the raising of the awareness of the Azerbaijani public about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the implementation of projects of public and diplomatic orientation.
The SCO, established in 2001, is a strategically important political, economic and military organization that has a geographic sweep stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf.
Currently, the organization members are Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the observer countries, and Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal and Armenia are dialogue partners.
The SCO is primarily centered on its member nations’ security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz