KHUJAND, April 10, 2015, Asia-Plus -- A press conference on the results of a two-day meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Military Committee was held in the Tajik northern province of Sughd on April 9.

The press conference was given by Major-General Zarif Sharifzoda,  First Deputy Minister of Defense of Tajikistan also Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan Valery Semerikov, Deputy Secretary-General of the CSTO and Lieutenant-General Alexander Studyonkin, Chief of the Unified Staff of the CSTO.

Sharifzoda said they had discussed prospects of further strengthening of stability and security in the CSTO area of responsibility (AoR).

According to him, a special attention was paid to analysis and assessment of challenges of military security in the CSTO''s collective security regions.

“The main theme of discussion was the situation in Afghanistan and the activation of the so-called Islamic State (IS) and its influence on collective security in the CSTO countries,” Sharifzoda  

Sharifzoda said that the CSTO delegates had discussed various responses to the threat posed by IS in Afghanistan, including the use of the CSTO''s collective forces.

There was also an exchange of views on the issues related to creating a joint air and missile-defense system, training of the Organization peacekeeping forces and activities of the head organizations training military personnel for the CSTO member nations, Sharifzoda said.

We will recall that a two-day meeting of the CSTO Military Committee took place in Tajikistan on April 8-9.

According to the CSTO Secretariat, the meeting discussed prospects of development of the CSTO Rapid Reaction Forces, organization of air defense within the format of the CSTO as well as training of military personnel for the CSTO member nations.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that Russia''s Defense Ministry said that “Particular attention was given to the current situation in Afghanistan with regard to the activities of the IS international terrorist organization.”

The Military Committee was set up at the CSTO Council of Defense Ministers and its members include chiefs of general staffs of the armed forces of the CSTO member nations.

The regional security organization 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 that suspended its membership in 1999 returned to the CSTO again in 2006 after it came under international criticism for its brutal crackdown of antigovernment demonstrations in the eastern city of Andijon in May 2005.  On June 28, 2012, Uzbekistan announced that it has suspended its membership of the CSTO, saying the organization ignores Uzbekistan and does not consider its views.  The CSTO is currently an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.