Tajik President Emomali Rahmon today morning held talks with his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on the sidelines of the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). 

According to the Tajik president’s official website, Rahmon noted that Tajikistan is interested in establishment of peace an accord in Afghanistan.  

In the course of the talks, the two leaders reportedly pointed to the necessity of establishment of close cooperation between the power-wielding structures of the two countries in combating terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.

Rahmon and Ghani also discussed economic, educational and cultural cooperation between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, the Tajik president’s website said.  

Recall, during the SCO summit in Qingdao, China on June 9-10, 2018, a protocol was signed on establishing the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group.  It is a consultative mechanism for developing proposals and recommendations to support government and public efforts to establish a peaceful, stable and economically prosperous Afghanistan free from terrorism and extremism.

Meanwhile, leaders of eleven countries have arrived in Bishkek for participation in the 19th SCO summit -- presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as Indian and Pakistani prime ministers arrived as summit participants and leaders of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia arrived in the Kyrgyz capital as observers.

Agenda of this two-day summit includes about twenty issues, including establishment of the SCO Bank and joint counteraction to modern challenges and threats,

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has eight full members -- China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan 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, Turkmenistan and the United Nations are guest attendances.

The SCO now represents around 42% of the world’s population, 22% of its land area and around 20% of GDP.