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China and Russia should strengthen communication and promote the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to enhance its influence in the global and regional affairs, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday while meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two presidents had a bilateral meeting ahead of the 17th SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Noting that the SCO is facing new opportunities and challenges, Xi said China and Russia should firmly observe the "Shanghai Spirit", boost solidarity among the SCO members, maintain regional security and stability, and promote pragmatic cooperation.

Xi: China, Russia should enhance ties, boost role of SCO

During their meeting on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing last month, the two leaders reached an important consensus on maintaining a high-level China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and enhancing all-round cooperation, according to the Chinese president.

Under the current complex international situation, sound China-Russia ties are of great significance to the two countries' development and revitalization, as well as to peace and stability of the world, Xi said.

The two countries should strengthen their mutual support on the issues relating to each other's core interests, said Xi, urging more achievements in the alignment of the Belt and Road construction with the Eurasian Economic Union.