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SCO not to become a military bloc

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, Apr 18 (UNI) The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will not be transformed into a military bloc, Russia's permanent representative at the organisation's secretariat Grigory Loginov said today.

''The SCO has no plans to transform into a military bloc,'' Mr Loginov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency at an international conference in Beijing.

''However, the threat of terrorism, extremism and separatism is so serious today that it is impossible to counter it effectively without the full-scale involvement of the armed forces,'' Mr Loginov said.

Mr Loginov pointed out that the SCO can play an independent role in efforts to sustain stability and security in the region.

''Its member-states are consistently intensifying their cooperation in fighting terrorism, extremism, separatism, drug trafficking, cross-border crime, human-trafficking and money laundering,'' he said.

The SCO was set up in Shanghai in July 2001 as a regional security forum by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India, Pakistan and Iran joined it last year as observers.

UNI XC AD HT1932

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