World Bulletin/News Desk
Leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will convene in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Friday to discuss the latest developments regarding the Syrian conflict and NATO's pull-out from Afghanistan.
The heads of state of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will debate regional and global security. The leaders are expected to demonstrate their common position with a summit declaration regarding the Syrian crisis and NATO's pull-out from Afghanistan.
Experts say the member states of the SCO, previously known as the "Shanghai Five," are anxious of the North Atlantic's withdrawal next year, a move that can lead to a security vacuum in Afghanistan. Even Russia and China are said to be preparing a contingency plan to prevent tumult from ensuing in Afghanistan again.
During the 2012 Chicago Summit, NATO and its partners agreed to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 when a new mission would advise, train and assist Afghan security forces including the Afghan Special Operations Forces. Afghan security forces had about 185,000 trained members by last year, however, there are doubts about whether Afghan forces would be effective against Taliban insurgents.
SCO leaders will also debate the latest development surrounding the Syria crisis. The Barack Obama administration threatened to attack the Syrian regime over its use of chemical gas against civilians - an attack which Washington said had crossed a red line. As the White House sought authorization from the Senate to attack Syria, Russia presented a plan to place Syrian chemical stockpiles under the international control so as to avert an attack by the US.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Iran is an observer state at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Turkey along with Sri Lanka and Belarus hold "dialogue partner" status.Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2013, 16:59