Leaders of China, Russia and four Central Asian countries said on Thursday that they were opposed to any military intervention to stop violence in Syria, media reports said.
They adopted a joint statement in Beijing at the end of a two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional grouping for economic and security cooperation.
Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin took part in the summit, while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended as an observer.
The statement says the Shanghai group is opposed to any military intervention in the affairs of the Middle East and North Africa. It also rejects any enforced handover of power or unilateral sanctions, and stresses the need to resolve problems through dialog.
In an apparent attempt to counter the Israeli threat of a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, the statement says use of force could threaten stability in the region and have an unpredictable impact.
The organization has agreed to invite Afghanistan as an observer to future summits, a move analysts say is aimed at increasing its involvement in Afghanistan toward late 2014 when U.S.-led multinational forces pull out of the country.
The SCO founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India are four observer states, and its dialog partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka.
by RTT Staff Writer
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