Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan, Lieutenant-General Emomali Sobirzoda is attending the 15th session of the Military Committee at the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council of Defense Ministers that is taking place in St. Petersburg today. 

Russian media reports say issues related to priorities of military cooperation between the CSTO member nations, challenges and threats facing military security in the CSTO area of responsibility and some other issues are being discussed at the session. 

Sobirzoda is also expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the CSTO member nations on the sidelines of the session, Lieutenant-Colonel Orif Nizomiyon, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.   

The Military Committee was established at the CSTO Council of Defense Ministers in accordance with clause 15 of the Regulations on the Council of Ministers of Defense of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, approved by the Decision of the Collective Security Council April 28, 2003, in order to expeditiously consider the issues of planning and use of forces and means of the CSTO collective security system.  

In its activities, the Military Committee is guided by generally recognized principles and norms of international law, the Collective Security Treaty of May 15, 1992, the Charter of the CSTO of October 7, 2002, decisions of the CSTO Collective Security Council, the Council of Defense Ministers and other regulatory acts governing the activities of the Organization, bilateral and multilateral international agreements on cooperation in the military sphere, of which the CSTO member states are parties.

The members of the Military Committee are the Chiefs of the General Staffs of the Armed Forces of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan as well as the Chief of the CSTO Joint Staff.

The CSTO Council of Defense Ministers is a consultative and executive body of the Organization to coordinate the interaction of member states in the areas of military policy, military construction and military technical cooperation.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is the regional security organization.  It was initially formed in 1992 for a five-year period by the members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST) -- Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which were joined by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Belarus the following year.  A 1994 treaty "reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force," and prevented signatories from joining any "other military alliances or other groups of states" directed against members states. The CST was then extended for another five-year term in April 1999, and was signed by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.  In October 2002, the group was renamed as the CSTO.  Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO in June 2006.  The CSTO is currently an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.