Akimbek Sultanov, Kyrgyzstan Interaction in SCO is one of Kyrgyzstan's foreign political priorities / SCO Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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Interaction in SCO is one of Kyrgyzstan's foreign political priorities
19.04.2019 16:19 Akimbek Sultanov, Kyrgyzstan

The SCO membership is important for Kyrgyzstan. Revealingly, all ruling administrations in Kyrgyzstan have kept continuity of the policy of developing the SCO. For example, the first president of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev, was one of the organization's founders. In 2016, the former president published a report titled "The expansion and strengthening of the SCO together with the restoration of the Great Silk Road is a road to creating solid security system and fruitful cooperation in Eurasia." In this report, Akayev analyzed the organization's activity and made a conclusion that the SCO is becoming the main force center in Eurasia.

The second president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, believes that the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization "without any exaggeration can be treated as a key international event in the early 21st century not only of the regional but also the global scale."

The third president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, also highly valued the SCO role. He said that the SCO "is one of the priority areas of Kyrgyzstan's foreign policy." He many times noted that it was Kyrgyzstan's idea to create the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.

Atambayev proposed creating the SCO bank with the office in Bishkek at the Astana summit in 2017. The proposal to expand the economic part of the organization's activity has been voiced by Kyrgyz leaders increasingly more often. For example, incumbent president Sooronbai Jeenbekov believes that the organization needs "to put a special emphasis on the economic element, to implement priority investment projects, to promote the creation of the Development Bank and the Development Fund of the SCO, and to create favorable conditions for international automobile transportation."

Kyrgyzstan currently presides in the SCO Council of Heads of State. The plan for the next four years is to enhance trade and to actively develop other economic spheres. The president said that Kyrgyzstan is interested in the soonest possible launch of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railroad project that would "considerably increase transit and export potential of SCO member states."

"Along with this, the important task is to develop interaction of SCO member states in fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, illegal drug trafficking and transborder organized crime, as well as the further strengthening of confidence measures in border districts," the president said.

There is broad consensus regarding the SCO in Kyrgyzstan's society, where there is a high level of freedom of speech. Thanks to this consensus the American military base that had been deployed there after the September 11 terrorist attack in the USA and the beginning of the antiterrorist campaign in Afghanistan was expelled from Kyrgyzstan. However, the authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic preferred to close the American base after the rent agreement expired. Naturally, the expulsion of the base was on the one hand a sign to the allies in the CIS and the SCO. On the other hand, this was the conscious choice of the future. Kyrgyzstan has chosen well-tested partners in the region and the path of stable development.

 

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