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SCO Meeting Discusses Cooperation and Non-Dollar Financial System

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EIRNS—The heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries held an online meeting hosted by China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang. The gathering heard a proposal by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to set up a joint payment network within the SCO and to speed up the transition to using national currencies in trade.

“Our common task is to gain independence from the influence of third countries in the financial sector. For that purpose, we suggest creating a digital system for the exchange of financial information and payment transactions within the SCO,” the head of the Russian government said on Nov. 1. This will reduce dependence on the dollar and ensure “more predictable, clear and reliable conditions” for economic activity within the SCO. [dns]

SCO Delegations Meet To Discuss Cooperation

EIRNS—SCO heads of government and other national leaders met virtually on Nov. 2. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang chaired the meeting. Premier Li underlined five major areas of cooperation which had been put forward at the Sept. 15-16 SCO Heads of State Summit in Samarkand: safeguarding safety and stability, expanding trade and investment, enhancing connectivity, promoting sustainable development to build up resilience against risks, and enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges to strengthen the bond between the people. The meeting also issued a statement of support for the new Indian chairmanship of the group next year.

The joint communiqué by the group stated: “The heads of delegations stressed that, in accordance with the SCO Charter principles, the member states adhere to a policy that excludes bloc-, ideology- and confrontation-driven approaches to addressing international and regional development issues and countering traditional and unconventional challenges and security threats. The statement also said:”They noted the adoption by the interested SCO member states of a Roadmap for the Gradual Increase in the Share of National Currencies in Mutual Settlements between the SCO Member States (Samarkand, 16 September 2022) and spoke in favor of expanding this practice." All the parties expressed support for the Belt and Road Initiative except India. In comments directed at the BRI, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, who headed the Indian delegation, said, “Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member-states and respect international law. Fair market access is the only way to move forward.”[wcj]

READ: Joint communiqué following the 21st meeting of the SCO Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Council