Putin Welcomes Shanghai Delegations
Prime Ministers from member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) convened in Moscow on 26 October and agreed at their one-day meeting on a "road map" that will include agreements on mutual cooperation in emergency situations and several economic accords, RIA Novosti and ITAR-TASS reported. Receiving the visiting heads of government at the Kremlin, President Putin said the group - which comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan - has "outgrown its original goal." Observers to the SCO Mongolia, Pakistan, India, and Iran all sent their most senior representatives to date to the meeting - including Mongolian Prime Minister Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorzh, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, and Iranian First Vice President Parviz Davudi. Putin also held a separate meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, RIA-Novosti reported. "The Christian Science Monitor" asked on 25 October whether Russia and China are seeking to create a "NATO of the East" through the Shanghai group.
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