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SCO's newly-elected secretary-general assumes office
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-01-23 10:47

Newly-elected Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Bolat Nurgaliev assumed office in Beijing Monday, pledging to use all his diplomatic experience and energy to live up to the trust in him by the leaders of SCO member states.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing attended the inaugural ceremony. Calling SCO an "important part" of China's foreign policy, Li said China, as the host state of the SCO Secretariat, will continue to fully support the Secretariat and Secretary-General Bolat Nurgaliev, and provide all assistance needed to help them.

Designated by the SCO summit meeting and held in turn by member states in Russian alphabetic order, SCO secretary-general serves one term of three years. The first SCO Secretary-General Zhang Deguang's term ended on January 1, 2007 and Nurgaliyev took up the post.

"A decision of the Heads of State Council at the Shanghai summit about significant empowerment of the Secretariat and Secretary-General indicates SCO's transition to a new stage of mature existence," Nurgaliyev said.

"Meanwhile, it also implies a much greater responsibility for the Secretariat to handle its affairs and raise far-sighted suggestions," he added.

The 55-year-old Bolat Nurgaliev had served as vice foreign minister of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan's ambassador to the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

The SCO, founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, aims to promote regional security and fight against terrorism. It comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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