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SCO members expected to ease Asia-Europe road transport

November 21 2013, 11:43

An Asia-Europe transport corridor could be established in 2017, according to an agreement which is expected to be signed at the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. The agreement would create conditions for an Asia-Europe transport corridor between Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province and St. Petersburg in northwest Russia.

The agreement, on facilitating road transportation among the SCO members, is expected to be signed at the 12th prime ministers' meeting of the SCO member states, a Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.

Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a press conference that the agreement would create conditions for an Asia-Europe transport corridor between Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province and St. Petersburg in northwest Russia.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the meeting on Nov. 28 and 29 in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, at the invitation of Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev, Cheng said.

After nine years of negotiations, SCO member states now intend to reach the agreement, Cheng said, adding that members may open their roads to each other in 2017.

The SCO, whose members include Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is an inter-governmental organization founded in the Chinese city of Shanghai on June 15, 2001.

Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observer states to the SCO, and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners of the organization.

Leaders of those countries and representatives from international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States, will attend the meeting, according to Cheng.

Premier Li will hold bilateral talks with other leaders on the sidelines of the meeting.

Cheng hailed the development of the SCO, noting that it is at a "key period" amid a dramatically changing international situation and weak global economic recovery.

The meeting will also discuss anti-terrorism cooperation, especially against the context that NATO troops will pull out Afghanistan in 2014.

"The SCO pays attention to the impact on the Central Asian region caused by the future security situation of Afghanistan," Cheng said, adding that to safeguard security and steady development of Central Asia will be a pressing task of the SCO.

globaltimes.cn

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