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September 13, 2013

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Security chief says ‘three evil forces’ remain visible

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization should promote more pragmatic and efficient cooperation in the security sphere, the chief of the group’s anti-terror agency said yesterday.

Ahead of today’s SCO summit in Bishkek, Zhang Xinfeng told reporters that the overall security situation in Central Asia remained stable and under control.

However, potential threats, mainly from the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism and separatism, remain visible.

“The three evil forces tend to propagate religious extremism and recruit more followers via the Internet,” Zhang said, adding that they are highly interconnected with drug trafficking, weapons smuggling and organized crime.

“That constitutes a substantial threat to regional security and stability,” he said.

Heads of the SCO member states will discuss security situations in and around hot spot areas as well as the development of relevant spheres within the group.

Noting that the anti-terror agency has forged more than 300 resolutions and established about a dozen cooperation mechanisms, Zhang said the organization will strengthen its ability in processing information and coordinating the cyber security agencies of member states to fight against the “three evil forces.”

He also said that, in line with consensus reached by the leaders, the SCO plans to launch cooperation in law enforcement departments between member states and observer states this year.

Such cooperation is expected between member states and dialogue partners in 2014, said Zhang.

In the wake of new challenges and threats, the SCO will study the possibility of reinforcing regional anti-terror agencies with new functions, “which is absolutely necessary,” he added.

On Afghanistan, Zhang said the situation there is subject to great uncertainty after the scheduled withdrawal of NATO troops. Member states of the SCO have been watching the Afghan situation closely and will continue to push forward the peace process within the framework of SCO mechanisms, he said.



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