The Eurasian Summit in Samarkand: An Alternative to the West?

(To Antonino Lombardi)
20/09/22

The 15nd edition of the Council of Heads of State Summit was held in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) from 16 to XNUMX September.Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) where the "Samarkand Declaration".

La Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 and currently comprises eight member states: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. There are four observer states interested in joining full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia) and six "Dialogue Partners" (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey) and since 2005 the SCO has been an observer in the United Nations General Assembly. At this year's summit, as the first official act, the entry of Iran was made official.

At the summit, the heads of state discussed increased cooperation on security matters, governance digitalisation, global food security, international energy security, the fight against climate change and trade relations. There has been a commitment to strengthen mutual support, high-level exchanges and strategic communication, deepen mutual understanding and political trust, and support efforts to defend security and development interests.

The topics covered were many. First, the leaders expressed their opposition to militarization in the fields of information and communication technologies, hoping for the implementation of cooperation between the police forces in order to combat crimes deriving from their illicit use.

The other points that are touched by the Declaration concern the terrorist threat, extremism and international trade. On the latter aspect, the promotion of an open global economy, the opposition to protectionist measures and trade restrictions and the strengthening of the effectiveness of the World Trade Organization were asked. Different approaches are introduced to ensure regional stability, sustainable economic development, the strengthening of transport and communication links. The SCO countries stressed the importance of respecting national sovereignty and the right of each state to choose its own models of political, economic and social development without foreign interference.

The forum condemned terrorist acts around the world and stressed the need to eliminate conditions that could support terrorism, separatism and extremism. On this point, the Chinese president said "thehe China is ready to train 2.000 law enforcement officers for SCO member states over the next five years and establish a base to train counter-terrorism personnel ”. Nuclear power was also discussed and as states parties to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, they agreed to continue to balance and promote all the principles of the treaty, with the aim of strengthening cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. .

In one of the 120 points of the treaty it is reported that the member countries "Rthey affirm their commitment to a peaceful solution of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation ”. Looking at the leaders involved, this point probably seems slightly hypocritical.

Expected and noteworthy are the face-to-face meetings between Russia, China and India.

During the work, the president of the Russian Federation said "Our policy is devoid of any selfishness. We hope that other participants in economic cooperation will build their policies on the same principles" and urged the leaders present to support his country in defending itself from sanctions. He also praised President Xi for "The balanced position of our Chinese friends in relation to the Ukrainian crisis" and ruled that Russia has launched the special military operation in Ukraine to prevent the West from creating an anti-Russian enclave in consideration of the fact that for many years the West has cultivated the idea of ​​the Russian collapse.

Xi Jinping for his part said that "China is willing to work with Russia to play a leading role in demonstrating the responsibility of great powers and instilling stability and positive energy in a world in turmoil."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held talks with the Russian president for the first time since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine and addressed Russia saying that "this is not the time for war, but for dialogue". The Russian leader replied "I know your position on the conflict in Ukraine and also your concerns. We want this to end as soon as possible. We will keep you updated on what is happening there."

Modi also spoke with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the summit and the two leaders discussed energy ties as well as the optimal use of the port of Chabahar and the INSTC1.

“I have had wide ranging discussions with President Ebrahim Raisi. We talked about the growing friendship between India and Iran and the possibility of strengthening ties in sectors such as energy, trade and connectivity "- the statements of the Indian leader.

La Shanghai Cooperation Organization will hold the next summit in 2023 in India.

1 The North-South International Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multimodal transport established in 2000 with the aim of promoting transport cooperation between Member States. This corridor connects the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Iran and is therefore connected to St. Petersburg and Northern Europe via Russia.

Photo: RIA Novosti

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