CSTO security chiefs gather in Kyrgyzstan to discuss cooperation

Kyrgyzstan Materials 20 September 2007 11:55 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - Senior security officials from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are meeting Thursday in Kyrgyzstan to discuss political and military trends in Central Asia, the CSTO press service said.

The Committee of Secretaries of the Security Councils is a consulting and executive security body of the post-Soviet security group in Central Asia, which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The meeting is being held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

"During the plenary meeting, Secretaries of the Security Councils will discuss an annual report by the Secretary General as well as priority activities for the next year," the press service said in a statement.

CSTO members use the organization as a platform to fight drug trafficking, terrorism, illegal migration and organized crime, and have pledged to provide immediate military assistance to one another in the event of an attack.

During the upcoming meeting, the CSTO officials will also discuss further development of the organization's peacekeeping mechanisms.

The bloc has a Collective Rapid Reaction Force deployed in Central Asia, and is continuing to build up its military forces, which some experts view as a step to counter-balance NATO's further eastward expansion and to keep Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries under Russia's military protection.

The committee is expected to review a number of draft documents coordinating joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, drug-trafficking and illegal migration.