23 May 2018 17:24

Int'l terror biggest challenge for CSTO - Nazarbayev

ASTANA. May 23 (Interfax) - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with security council secretaries and defense ministers from the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), according to his press service.

The CSTO's Council of Defense Ministers and Committee of Security Council Secretaries are meeting in Astana on Wednesday and Thursday.

"These CSTO bodies, as you can imagine, will consider a wide range of issues, including the development of multilateral cooperation in the military sphere, efforts to counter international terrorism, drug trafficking, and illegal migration and work out approaches to a coordinated information policy," Nazarbayev was quoted as saying.

The military-political situation, globally and in the region, remains complicated, given the rise in international terrorism and growing threats to the information space, he said.

Defense ministries and security councils play an important role in inter-state coordination, improving collective mechanisms and coordinating joint drills and operations, Nazarbayev said.

"Joint work must be carried out in the framework of agreed-on directions and strictly in accordance with the charter tasks concretized in the CSTO Development Strategy 2025. The Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (KSOR) we created are always ready to perform their tasks," he said.

It is important to devise concrete programs and plans regarding the KSOR's materiel and technical support, Nazarbayev said.

Practical measures of military-technical cooperation should be stressed, to which end the potential of the KADEX 2018 defense exhibition that just opened in Astana should be used, the Kazakh president said.

"Currently, the CSTO Joint Staff's numbers have been increased substantially, so we rightfully expect qualitative improvements in its work. The most acute problem in the CSTO's zone of responsibility, and worldwide in general, from Kazakhstan's point of view, is international terrorism," Nazarbayev said.

Collective efforts to fight it have proved effective, he said.

The CSTO should also work more intensively with the international community, devise responses to potential threats, and provide information- and cyber-security, Nazarbayev said.

Both the council and the committee will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the resolution of the CSTO's common problems, he said.

The CSTO consists of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.