03:32 GMT +313 December 2018
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    BEIJING, JANUARY 14 (RIA NOVOSTI) - A qualitatively new stage begins in the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov said upon arrival in Beijing on Wednesday.

    "The maximum intensification of collaboration between SCO member countries in the political, economic, humanitarian and other directions is the organization's priority task today," the minister said.

    According to him, the stage of the SCO establishment is being completed, and it begins functioning as a full-fledged international structure which has its own working mechanisms, personnel and budget.

    Igor Ivanov believes that we can speak about the successful fulfillment of the task to ensure the beginning of the SCO's work in January 2004, which was set at the Moscow SCO summit in May 2003.

    During his Chinese visit Igor Ivanov will take part in the opening ceremony of the SCO secretariat and in the extraordinary session of the SCO council of foreign ministers.

    The SCO incorporates Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

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