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Defense ministers gather for Bishkek summit

BISHKEK, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - Defense ministers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) gathered for a summit in the capital of Kyrgyzstan Wednesday.

The Bishkek meeting is being attended by defense officials from Kyrgyzstan, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov heads the Russian delegation.

"Apart from traditionally exchanging opinions on the pressing issues of global and regional security, we will have to discuss and sign an agreement on conducting joint antiterrorism military exercises (Peace Mission 2007)," said Ismail Isakov, the Kyrgyz defense minister.

He said the agreement covered the whole range of legal issues related to the maneuvers. The agreement is designed to demonstrate the strengthened cooperation between SCO member countries in the defense sector, Isakov said.

Established in 2001 as a non-military alliance, the organization is viewed by many as a counter to NATO.

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