ALMATY, Kazakhstan — The killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces might trigger a backlash from his supporters and a “new wave of terror” across Central Asia, the Russia- and China-dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organization said.
“The recent elimination of terrorist No. 1 Osama bin Laden is beyond all doubt a success of the United States, but it is in no way a victory over international terrorism,” Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzgan Kazykhanov told a meeting Saturday of his counterparts from the SCO states. Kazakhstan currently holds the rotating chair of the NATO-style grouping.
“Craving for revenge, the supporters of al-Qaida, the Taliban movement and other terrorist and extremist organizations may cause a new wave of terror as they attempt to avenge the death of their leader,” Kazykhanov said. “In our view, the situation in Afghanistan will keep tension high in the region, remaining a source of terror, extremism and illegal trafficking of drugs and weapons.”
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that the 10th anniversary SCO summit to be held in Kazakhstan in June would approve an anti-drugs strategy for 2011 to 2016. Afghan heroin streams to Russia across Central Asia’s porous borders.
Lavrov also said Pakistan and India were seeking to become full SCO members, and the summit was expected to adopt criteria for granting permanent membership in the regional body. He declined to say when or which of the two countries could join the SCO, which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.