DUSHANBE, April 28, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Tajik Minister of Interiors Abdurahim Qahhorov today morning departed for Astana, Kazakhstan to attend a meeting of interior ministers from member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that is opening there today.

Mahmadullo Asadulloyev, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, says the meeting’s agenda includes three main issues: the fight against organized crime; combating drug trafficking; and combating cyber crime.

According to him, the meeting is expected to result in signing of a protocol of cooperation that will highlight priorities of cooperation between the SCO interior ministries in the near-term outlook.  Qahhorov is also scheduled to hold a number of bilateral talks on sidelines of the meeting, the spokesman said.

In the meantime, some Russian media outlet report the meeting participants are discussing the operational situation in the fight against drug trafficking.  Russian Interior Minister Nurgaliyev was quoted as saying that it is no secret that drug trafficking fuels organized crime and Russia is on the so-called “northern route” for transportation of heroin from the northern provinces of Afghanistan through Central Asia’s countries.  Nurgaliyev said that “today the issue of countering illegal drug trafficking is one of the most urgent for the SCO.”  “In addition, the meeting will discuss issues related to joint fight against organized crime and cyber crime, which is becoming large-scale,” noted Nurgaliyev, “We intend to intensify the exchange of experience in this field, as well as develop practical measures for identification, detection and investigation of crimes in the sphere of information technologies and unlawful use of the Internet.”

Founded in 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.