SCO Sec Gen Muratbek Imanaliev: Problem of security on Eurasian space - crucial for all SCO member states

By Ruslan Suleimenov

Muratbek Imanaliev


As earlier reported, on June 10-11, 2010 Tashkent will host a  session of the Council of Presidents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Muratbek Imanaliev, Secretary-General of the SCO, told about the agenda of the forthcoming sitting and the threats and challenges the Organization faces today in an interview to Kazinform.
What issues will be on agenda of the Summit of the OSCE Heads of State in Tashkent?

It should be noted that the agenda of the oncoming Summit was thoroughly discussed at the last sitting of the SCO Foreign Ministers in May, however there are some aspects which must be included in it. Therefore prior to the Summit of the SCO Heads of State there will be held a sitting of the Council of the SCO National Coordinators during which the agenda will be fully completed.

There are traditional issues like general security on the SCO territory and the neighboring countries, in particular, rehabilitation of Afghanistan which is the most urgent issue to date. As is known, a contact group "SCO-Afghanistan" is functioning in our Organization today. The SCO Heads of State urge the Secretariat and RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the SCO) to enhance work in this direction. To my mind, the SCO RATS has good potential, experience and opportunities to activate its work on Afghanistan.

Certainly, fight with terrorism, extremism and separatism, i.e. the struggle against "three evils" will be in spotlight of the Summit. Today we must pay more attention to the problem of drug business and develop common programs for fighting with this evil.

Evidently, the Summit will also focus on the situation in Kyrgyzstan which is a "sensitive issue" for the SCO now.

However, I would like to note one important position of the Organization and its members - Kyrgyzstan has been and will be a full-fledged member of the SCO. Besides, all SCO member countries will provide all-round economic, humanitarian assistance to brotherly Kyrgyzstan. The next problem is legitimating the activity of the interim government and all relevant state structures in Kyrgyzstan. I would like to remind, that at the sitting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers some ministers stressed necessity of development of new directions of legal regulation of the Kyrgyz problem, stabilization of the situation, which is of paramount importance for our Organization. The agenda of the oncoming Summit will undoubtedly include discussion of economic, trade, cultural, humanitarian cooperation - both within the SCO and with other international organizations.

The most important issue to be discussed is our relations with the international structures, primarily, with the UN. To date we have established contacts with various structures of the UN, namely with those fighting with terrorism and drug-trafficking. On April 5, 2010 following the UN Resolution on SCO-UN cooperation, on an initiative of Uzbekistan, we signed a Joint Declaration on SCO/UN Secretariat Cooperation.

This is quite an important document providing for major directions and vectors of cooperation between our organizations. In this context we do not forget about cooperation with continental Eurasian organizations like the CIS, the CSTO and the EurAsEC.

Noteworthy to say, that Belarus and Sri-Lanka became the SCO partners. Today we actively attract the Business Council and the SCO Inter-Bank Association to our work. 
Who will represent Kyrgyzstan at the SCO Summit in Tashkent?

This is quite a serious question, but I would like to say that the SCO's approach to the Kyrgyz Republic is positive and friendly. We should take into consideration all existing and emerging negative and positive factors including the problems of legitimacy, in whole, at the space formed now in Kyrgyzstan. As President of Uzbekistan- SCO Chairman Islam Karimov said, Kyrgyzstan must be worthily represented at the Summit of the SCO Heads of State.
Will the Summit participants discuss the Provision on admission of new member countries?

The document is ready for signing and was approved by the SCO Foreign Ministers Council. I think it will be signed by the Presidents at the Summit. The document will open a new space, a new corridor for us and will let us work with the countries which wish to join the Organization.  The Provision on admission of new members is a framework document providing for basic rules of admission of new member countries of the SCO. Certainly, the framework document requires discussion of details, notions and many political, economic, financial and other aspects. Since enactment of the Provision which will be signed in Tashkent, all countries applying for membership will be considered by us as member states until their full membership is approved. This will take certain period of time. To date Iran and Pakistan have already submitted their applications. After the Summit we will have to perform huge work in this sphere.
In your opinion, what are the prospects of development of the SCO-OSCE cooperation?

The OSCE is an important international organization which was established to ensure security on the Eurasian continent. Kazakhstan as its presiding country exerts every effort to give new impulse to the OSCE's activity. We wish Kazakhstan successful chairmanship and I am confident in your success at this position. As for the relations between the SCO and the OSCE, I think, this issue requires thorough study, however, both organizations possess huge potential for contacts and consultations.

First of all, when we speak about the OSCE this year and the situation in Kyrgyzstan, we must emphasize the role of Kazakhstan in regulation of the conflict in Kyrgyzstan. To my mind, Kazakhstan has provided and provides great support to the Kyrgyz nation in stabilization of the situation.
Thank you for the interview!