Russia and China looking at security issues in Central Asia

In Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin began two days talks on security issues in Central Asia, while Iran’s nuclear program still arouses fears in the region.

The presidents of China and Russia, the two major powers bordering Central Asia, Wednesday discussed security issues of this strategic region.

Lasting two days, the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) takes place while the uncertainties about the nature of Tehran’s nuclear program continue to raise international concern.The SCO includes Russia, China and four former Soviet republics, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Iran is one of the four countries having the status of observers at the SCO.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Beijing as the United States Tuesday expressed little optimism about the signing of a framework agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Tehran on Friday during a new round of talks in Vienna.

Ahmadinejad will hold talks in Beijing with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow will host the next round of talks between Iran and the group of “5 +1” (USA, Russia, China, France, UK and Germany) on June 18 and 19. As the traditional supporter of Iran, China often repeats that it opposes the use of force or threats to use force against Tehran.

On the sidelines of the SCO, an organization meant to counterbalance U.S. influence in Central Asia, Afghanistan will also appear in the summit without being a member of the SCO. The head of state Hamid Karzai will sign with Chinese President Hu Jintao a joint statement between China and Afghanistan to establish a strategic partnership and cooperation, said Kabul.

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