00:06 GMT +315 August 2018
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    SCO States Rule Out Warfare in Resolving Syrian Crisis - Summit Declaration

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    The member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) confirmed, in their joint declaration on the outcome of the Qingdao summit, the absence of alternatives to a political resolution to the Syrian crisis, and called on all the parties to the conflict to take steps to implement the agreement on the de-escalation zones in the country.

    The Qingdao Declaration stressed that the Syrian crisis should only be resolved through an inclusive political process led by the Syrians themselves, which should be conducted in compliance with the UN Security Council's resolutions and with respect for Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

    The SCO member states have also expressed in the Qingdao Declaration their support for the peace talks in Geneva and called on the parties to the conflict to take concrete steps to implement the memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria in order to create an enabling environment for the political settlement in the country.

    The SCO countries have reiterated the inadmissibility of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and their support for an impartial and credible investigation into the chemical attacks in the country.

    Compliance With JCPOA for Global Stability

    The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states called on the sides to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), widely referred to as the Iranian nuclear deal, to comply with their obligations under the agreement to ensure regional and global stability, the joint declaration, signed at the SCO summit in China, read on Sunday.

    The SCO member states attach importance to the sustainable implementation of the JCPOA, the declaration read.

    READ MORE: Beijing Ready to Cooperate With Moscow to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal — Xi

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, established in 2001, currently involves eight permanent member states: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India.

    Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia have observer status, while Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka have the status of dialogue partners. The organization's key goals include cooperation in the area of international security and counter-terrorism.

    SCO States to Jointly Counter Threat of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters

    The member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) note the rising threat of returning foreign terrorist fighters, and commit themselves to enhancing mechanisms of information exchange on the issue, the joint declaration, signed at the SCO summit in China on Sunday, said.

    In the light of the developments in the Middle East, the SCO member states note the rising threat of foreign terrorist fighters who return to the countries of their origin and find shelter in third countries in order to pursue their extremist activities in SCO countries, the document read.

    READ MORE: Daesh Continues Resistance in Syria Only in US-Controlled Areas — Russian MoD

    The SCO member states also pledge to enhance the mechanisms of information exchange on this group of individuals, step up extradition procedures with regard to foreign terrorist fighters in line with the national legislation of respective states, and boost international cooperation both at a political level and among intelligence services, the declaration added.

    SCO Supports Initiative on Convention on Fight Against Chemical, Biological Terrorism

    The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states support the initiative to develop the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Chemical and Biological Terrorism drafted by Russia within the framework of the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), the joint declaration on the outcome of the SCO summit in China read.

    The organization’s member states also expressed their concern over the possibility of terrorist groups acquiring weapons of mass destruction and upheld the strengthening of the international legal framework of countering this threat.

    In their joint declaration, the SCO heads of state also supported the efforts to strengthen the authority of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the norms of the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons.

    The initiative of the creation of the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Chemical and Biological Terrorism was voiced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a CD session in 2016. The document seeks to cover the existing legal loopholes in countering the use of weapons of mass destruction.

    READ MORE: Statements by Salisbury Doctors Fail to Add Any Clarity to Skripal Case — Moscow

    The issue of the use of chemical weapons has been widely discussed recently in the light of alleged chemical attacks in Syria and the alleged poisoning of Russian ex-intelligence officer Sergei Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent in England.

    The Syrian government has repeatedly denied the accusations by the Western states that it was behind attacks on civilians with the use of toxic substances. Damascus has reiterated it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles under the OPCW supervision.

    The United Kingdom, on which territory the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter took place, accused Moscow of organizing the alleged attack. Russia, in its turn, pointed to the lack of proof to substantiate London’s claims.

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