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SCO considers working with ASEAN in fight against terror
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-09-30 14:30
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is to consider cooperating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in fighting terrorism, said a leading SCO anti-terror official.

SCO members made the decision to study the move during a review of their achievements in the 8th meeting of the SCO regional anti-terror agency council in Beijing on Friday.

"Impressive achievements have been made in identifying and cracking down on the 'three evil forces' of terrorism, separatism and extremism," said Vyacheslav Kasimov, director of the SCO anti-terror agency's executive committee.

The SCO established working relations with other regional anti-terror groups and related UN agencies.

Terrorist suspects had been transferred among SCO member states, Kasimov said.

SCO member countries had taken preventive measures, such as the Russian and Kyrgyzstan policy of amnesty for some terrorists, to reduce terrorist actions.

"SCO member countries have also staged a series of joint anti-terror military drills," Kasimov said.

China and Kazakhstan in August held the "Tianshan-I" exercise, the first ever joint SCO anti-terrorism drill involving the two countries' law enforcement bodies and special forces.

The exercises were a concrete demonstration of the SCO consensus to enhance security cooperation and a means to improve coordination between law enforcement departments and special services, said Meng Hongwei, China's Vice Minister of Public Security.

Last week, the Tajikistan and Chinese armed forces launched joint exercises to improve coordination in countering terrorist threats.

More joint military exercises are scheduled to practice a coordinated response to terrorist attacks. China and Russia will hold a military drill in Russia under the SCO framework next year.

Kasimov also hailed the SCO countries' border-inspection drills, saying they helped deter cross-border terrorist acts.

The fight against the "three evil forces" remained the SCO's top priority, a consensus repeated by the heads of the SCO countries at June's summit meeting.

Meng, who held the rotating council chairmanship, lauded the increasingly important role of the anti-terror agency in maintaining peace and stability in SCO states and throughout central Asia.

"We are confident that this meeting will help intensify the anti-terror cooperation among SCO members," Meng said.

A total of 12 anti-terror related legal documents were signed at the end of the one-day meeting.

Participants reviewed the work of the past three years and adopted the 2007 work plan of the SCO regional anti-terror agency.

"SCO member countries will broaden anti-terror cooperation," said Kasimov.

The SCO, established in 2001 in the Chinese city of Shanghai, groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its regional anti-terror agency came into operation in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent in 2004.

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