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    RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER STRESSES SCO AROUSES THE WORLD'S INTEREST

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    MOSCOW, January 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - On Monday Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov reported to President Vladimir Putin and government officials on the results of his trip to Mongolia and China in early January.

    Ivanov reminded those present that he had attended a ceremony to open the HQ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation /Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan/ in Beijing. The organization has started working to the full extent, the minister told the president and Cabinet ministers in the Kremlin.

    Ivanov pointed out trade and economic cooperation, and a fight against new threats and challenges as two main spheres of collaboration within the framework of the organization.

    "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization arouses great interest in the world," the minister remarked.

    The minister also expressed gratitude to the Russian president and Prime Minister on the part of the Mongolian government for having written off the so-called "enormous Soviet debt". The problem settled, new opportunities for Russo-Mongolian cooperation are opening up, Ivanov underlined.

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