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Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to cordially thank President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, our host, for organizing this meeting. It was made possible to a great extent thanks to his initiative and energy, and the increased authority of Kazakhstan.

Our meeting is a unique event. For the first time in history heads of sixteen countries from different regions of the Asian continent have come together to discuss issues of strengthening security and stability in the   region.

I am confident that we have come to Almaty driven by aspiration to ensure peace and stability of the region and to discuss mechanisms, which would facilitate the settlement of old conflicts and prevent occurrence of new ones.

Frankly speaking, there are a lot of threats in the Asian region today. Among them there are terrorism, growth of extremist sentiments, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, transnational crime and drug trafficking.

For a long time Russia has expressed concerns in this matter. Primarily regarding the international terrorism, which is essentially important to emphasize, that it has nothing to do with any particular religion, nationality and territory.

After the tragedy of 11 September 2001 the world community has made a solid choice to unite efforts in order to combat this evil. I believe, this decision had no other alternative.

Russia together with its partners on the Collective Security Treaty, Eurasian Economic Community and Shanghai Organization for Cooperation has an objective to implement concrete measures on development of integration in the Asian region. We consistently develop multilateral cooperation in spheres of security and fighting against terrorism. We actively interact in social, economic and humanitarian spheres.

In a few days the Summit of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation will take place in St. Petersburg. A number of organizational issues will be considered there; directions of future activity in the spheres of security and economic development will be defined. I would also like to emphasize that the Shanghai Organization of Cooperation is open for constructive interaction both with other international associations and with individual states.

Today in Asia there is an ongoing process of formation of several regional structures. Russia supports efforts aimed at increasing of the role of ASEAN Regional Forum, and together withthe ASEAN me mber-states continues to work on the Declaration «Paciflc Accord», a kind of code of behavior of states in Asian - Pacific region.

The situation on the Asian continent still causes serious concerns: fire is blazing in the Middle East, explosions can be heard almost daily, civilians suffer. Current relations between India and Pakistan are also a matter of deep concern. This fact seriously destabilizes the situation on all South-Asian subcontinent. I am confident that we, heads of the authoritative states of the region, should do our best to contribute to the resolution of these problems.

Neutralization of the center of the international terrorism in Afghanistan has significantly reduced the threat to security of Central Asia. In this regard let me extend my greetings to Head of Provisional Administration of Afghanistan Mr. Karzai, who is here today. He has been carrying out very responsible, important and complex work of revival of his homeland. The situation in Central Asia will depend largely on positive political development of processes in Afghanistan.

We are also concerned with the situation in the south and southeastern part of the countiy, where the antiterrorist coalition is forced to continue operations against extremists . We hope that Loya Jirga will become a real guarantor of restoration of legitimate and effective authority in the country, set up the conditions for the creation of a sustainable political system and social stability in Afghanistan.

As I have stated during the visit of Head of Provisional Administration of Afghanistan Mr. Karzai, to Moscow, Russia will continue to contribute to the necessary extent to the joint efforts of the international community assisting social and economic revival of Afghanistan.

Dear colleagues!

Our summit can significantly contribute to the mobilization of efforts to resolve problems, create the climate of confidence and mutual respect of interests, formation of common security area on the Asian continent.

It is necessary to continue an active struggle against terrorist threat by utilizing the whole potential of the Charter of the United Nations Organization and international law. I am confident that common efforts are necessary for a successful combat against this global evil.

Speaking about new global threats, we should not forget about their underlining causes. They exist because, among other things, of poverty and underdevelopment, growing gap between developed and less developed countries.

We believe that solutions of many of these problems lay in the sphere of economic cooperation. We need trading rules corresponding to the norms of WTO,improvements in the social sphere,creation of advanced transport,power and communication infrastructure. We should use rationally the water resources of trans-border rivers, preserve environment and improve migration regulations.

  Prepared for adoption at this summit, Almaty Act and CICA Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue Among  Civilizations are founding documents defining directions of our efforts on molding of a new shape of Asia. This is the guarantee of success of our Conference.

Dear colleagues,

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia will certainly help to juxtapose positions, formulate an ideology of joint actions. At the same time immense and hard work should be carried out through many channels - from bilateral cooperation between states to the large-scale joint regional projects. Russia is ready to work jointly with other participants of the Conference to make all-Asian cooperation  a reality.

Thank you for your attention.