YEKATERINBURG, Russia, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and leaders of other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Tuesday to discuss economic and security issues.
Founded in 2001, the SCO consists of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran are observers of the organization.
At the annual summit, the leaders will discuss important issues including how to tackle the international financial crisis and how to expand cooperation in political, economic, security and other areas among its member states.
"For the first time, the leaders of SCO member states and observers will hold a small-sized group meeting, which is a new measure taken by the SCO to strengthen substantial cooperation with its observers," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Hui told a press briefing last Tuesday.
He said that the summit aims to further implement the treaty of long-term neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between the SCO member states, boost regional cooperation in the sectors of politics, security, economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, work together to tackle the global financial and economic crisis, and promote an early economic recovery in the region.
The summit is expected to yield a joint statement as well as other cooperation documents.
In recent years, the SCO has played increasingly important role in maintaining regional security and economic development.