Ex-Irkutsk Governor Confirmed as SCO Head

A former governor of Russia’s Irkutsk, Dmitry Mezentsev has been named the next secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).


“The states’ heads made a decision to appoint Mezentsev as the secretary general,” according to a statement issued after the SCO summit in Beijing.


Mezentsev, who headed Siberian Irkutsk region from 2009 to 2012, will serve as the SCO from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015.


Earlier on Thursday President Vladimir Putin, who is on his visit to Beijing, suggested Mezentsev for the top post in the SCO.


The SCO is a regional security grouping that comprises Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Mongolia, India, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan have observer status.


Mezentsev attempted to run for the Russian presidency during the March elections, but was rejected because there were too many invalid signatures among those he submitted to register as a candidate.


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