DUSHANBE, April 26, 2011, Asia-Plus -- The military chiefs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) agreed in Shanghai on Monday to strengthen defense cooperation, China’s Xinhua reports.

The military chiefs gathered in Shanghai on Monday afternoon for the first meeting of its kind in SCO''s history to review SCO cooperation in defense and security and exchange views on the international and regional situation.

Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People''s Liberation Army, chaired the meeting.  He acknowledged the successful results achieved by SCO member states in defense and security, as made evident by increased mutual trust between military leaders, improved laws and regulations, and effective joint anti-terrorism exercises.

"The SCO member states have made an important contribution to lasting peace and common prosperity in the region," Chen said.

All SCO member states should work together to achieve mutual security and address common challenges, Chen said, calling on the armed forces in these countries to actively implement the cooperation programs between the national defense ministries in line with the consensus of the heads of state.

We will recall that Ramil Nadyrov, First Deputy Minister of Defense also Chief of the Staff of Tajikistan’s Armed Forces, represented Tajikistan at the meeting.  On the sidelines of the meeting, Nadyrov held talks with Chen Bingde.  The sides reportedly exchanged views on state and prospects of further expansion of bilateral cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries.

Founded in 2001, the SCO consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.