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TASHKENT (TCA) — A briefing was held in Uzbekistan on January 29 to mark the opening of the Centre for Public Diplomacy of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent.

The SCO comprises eight member states: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

SCO Deputy Secretary-General Nurlan Akkoshkarov delivered opening remarks on behalf of SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov.

Speaking at the briefing, Uzbek Senator and Head of the Public Diplomacy Centre Rakhmatulla Nazarov said that the centre would be working towards several goals, such as stronger mutual trust and neighbourliness, a broader inter-ethnic and inter-civilisational dialogue as well as cultural and humanitarian ties with the SCO countries. The centre will also create conditions for friendly interaction between the SCO countries' civil society institutions (in particular, youth and women's organisations), promote information cooperation between the SCO countries, including by creating information resources and encouraging interaction with media outlets, as well as use public diplomacy instruments to bring the SCO nations closer together and strengthen the Shanghai spirit.

A presentation of the Public Diplomacy Centre was held as part of the briefing to inform the audience about the centre's goals, spheres of activity and planned events.

Under the roadmap on the centre's operations in 2019, it will hold over 30 events to develop and strengthen interaction with the governmental and non-governmental organisations of the SCO member states, observer countries and dialogue partners. The centre will also organise joint events, festivals, fairs, folk and handicraft exhibitions and promote interaction to preserve the cultural heritage of the Silk Road.

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