Shanghai Cooperation Organisation holds Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Council meeting in Kazakhstan
More than 80 high-profile terror attacks in SCO member countries in last 3 years, says Kazakhstan's National Security Committee deputy chairman
The 40th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Council took place in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana on Friday.
Kazakhstan's National Security Committee said the meeting included official delegations from India, Iran, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, as well as Belarus and Mongolia in observer roles.
It discussed issues such as countering terror financing and illegal arms trafficking, along with reviewing interim results of the "SCO member countries' cooperation program against terrorism, separatism, and extremism" for 2022-2024.
Over 80 high-profile terrorist attacks occurred in last three years
Kazakhstan's Deputy Chairman of the National Security Committee, Ruslan Seysembayev, announced after the meeting that the member countries endorsed shared future plans for counterterrorism.
Seysembayev noted plans for a seminar and joint counterterrorism exercise in India to prevent internet misuse for terrorism, separatism and extremism.
He said it was agreed that developing a joint cooperation program against extreme ideologies would start and the SCO's joint counter-terrorism exercise is set for China in 2024.
Seysembayev stressed that the SCO considers Afghanistan a threat in terms of exporting terrorism, particularly from the growing potential of the international terror group known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is estimated to have around 6,000 trained terrorists.
He said analyzing the situation suggests a continued high-level terrorism threat in Afghanistan that could potentially spill into SCO borders.
Seysembayev added that there have been at least 80 high-profile terror attacks in SCO member countries in the last three years.
He highlighted the situation in Kazakhstan and said there is a high terrorism threat level in the country.
Seysembayev said authorities prevented a terror attack in Astana and an explosion at the Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Shrine in Turkistan in 2023.
He said Kazakhstan usually prevents at least two terror attacks annually.
This year, Kazakhstan also stopped early-stage preparations for a homemade bomb explosion in Turkistan and armed attacks in crowded places in Astana, he added.
The SCO, which was established in 2001, aims to strengthen friendly good-neighbor relations and mutual trust among member states.
*Writing by Necva Tastan
Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.