Mr. Li Keqiang, the current Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, is paying an official visit to Tajikistan.  He arrived in Dushanbe today.  As part of his official visit, Mr. Li Keqiang will hold talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

China’s Foreign Ministry reports that Li Keqiang is paying an official working visit to Belgium and official visits to the Netherlands and Tajikistan.  

While in Dushanbe, he is also participating in the 17th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)Council of Heads of Government.   

The heads of government’s discussion will have a primary focus on the implementation of the tasks  the SCO heads of state had set.  

The leaders will be discussing prospects for further development of SCO and will exchange in-depth views on current international and regional issues.

Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs says External Affairs Minister (EAM), Smt. Sushma Swaraj will be participating in the meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government in Dushanbe.  

EAM’s program in Dushanbe reportedly includes participation in the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting, both in the restricted as well as extended formats. 

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization now has eight full members -- China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.  ACEAN, CIS and Turkmenistan are guest attendances.

The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organization.

The SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organization’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organization’s annual budget.

In addition to HSC and HGC meetings, there is also a mechanism of meetings at the level of heads of parliament; secretaries of Security Councils; ministers of foreign affairs, defense, emergency relief, economy, transport, culture, education, and healthcare; heads of law enforcement agencies and supreme and arbitration courts; and prosecutors general.  The Council of National Coordinators of SCO Member States (CNC) acts as the SCO coordination mechanism.