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First SCO chief to leave office
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-12-29 13:18
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday praised the first secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Zhang Deguang for his role in launching and ensuring the efficient operation of the organization.

Zhang's term ends on January 1, 2007 and Bolat Nurgaliyev, a senior Kazak diplomat, will take up the post.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said in a press conference that Zhang had done a lot for the development of the SCO.

The heads of state of SCO members all expressed their satisfaction and highly evaluated Zhang's performance, Qin noted.

Qin said that Zhang had performed his duties in an efficient, orderly and coordinated manner and the SCO member states had deepened cooperation and enhanced the organization's international influence.

Qin said that China would support Nurgaliyev in his new role.

Zhang, the former Chinese vice foreign minister and former ambassador to Russia, was appointed the first secretary-general of the SCO in 2004.

Designated by the SCO summit meeting and held in turn by member states in Russian alphabetic order, every secretary-general can serve only one term of three years.

The SCO, a regional organization founded in 2001, constitutes China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Pakistan, Mongolia, Iran and India are observers of the group.

Source:Xinhuanet 
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