SCO slams U.S. missile defense plans

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) opposes Western missile defense plans that could jeopardize international stability, the regional security group said in a declaration on Wednesday.

“The member states believe that the unilateral and unrestricted buildup of a missile defense capability by one state or a group of countries can hurt strategic stability and international security,” the six-nation summit declaration said.

The leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana to discuss regional stability and security, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Moscow has been critical of U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Europe in 2015-2020 in close proximity to its national borders.

The SCO leaders also spoke in favor of a nuclear weapons-free zone in Central Asia and the use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes.

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