ECO member states restate resolve for regional integration

March 3, The Iran Project – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani along with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif participated in 13th ECO summit. the Iranian chief executive described strengthening Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) as a top priority, stressing boosting of cooperation among the organization’s member states.

The intergovernmental regional organization was founded by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey back in 1985. It also groups Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The body works toward ensuring that its members witness steady economic progress while also working to facilitate better cooperation among them.

Islamic Republic of Iran recently handed over the rotating presidency of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Council of Ministers to Pakistan.

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also traveled to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad Wednesday to attend the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)’s 13th plenary session.

  “ECO VISION 2025”

Addressing the 22nd Meeting of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) in Islamabad, Zarif said ECO members need a new economic architecture to strengthen their cooperation and convergence to ensure achievement of the expected “ECO VISION 2025” goal.

Zarif elaborated that the new economic architecture has to rely on a macroeconomic pattern and should match ECO countries’ models of economic growth.

“The Vision, along with its associated plans for action, is expected to drive us towards further regional integration and cohesion. If it happens, ECO will celebrate an important milestone in its three-decade history of evolution,” Zarif said.

 Era of Rising Asia

Addressing the opening session of the 13th Summit of ECO on March 1, President Rouhani said the emerging Asian economies would change the direction of the world’s economy from the West to the East; and this would turn the twenty first century to the era of rising Asia.

“Our continent Asia is going to pump the heart of the world’s economy in the second half of the present centaury,’ said the President stressing that promotion of connectivity will help development and prosperity in Asia.’

 

He further noted, “The unique status of our countries in transit and transport as well as energy and commerce has put the ECO in an ideal position. The ECO can and should play a prominent role in building the future economy of our region.

President Rouhani highlighted that ECO was a proper ground for creation of a safer and more secure region for all nations. He stressed that Iran appreciated common interests and cooperation with neighbors as it held joint borders with six ECO members; “no barriers exist on deepening relations with ECO states.”

Positive Impacts

Upon his arrival in Tehran from Islamabad President Rouhani highlighted the positive impacts that ECO will have on stability in the region, saying he had constructive talks with Turkish and Pakistani leaders to serve that purpose.

As regards the talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the ECO meeting, President Rouhani said both Turkey and Pakistan are willing to purchase oil and gas from Iran.

Also, Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed protecting the territorial integrity of Syria at a meeting on the sidelines of ECO Summit.

He also underlined that ECO’s potential should be employed to stimulate economic activities by the private and state-run sectors of the member states.

Political Will

ECO member states have reiterated their political will and strong commitment for economic development, common prosperity, regional integration and peace and stability in the ECO Region.

A declaration issued after the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad reaffirmed commitment to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Treaty of Izmir.

The member states also reassured their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter including the respect for political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states development of friendly relations among nations and pacific settlement of disputes.

On March 1, the regional economic summit in Pakistan finally concluded with participants pledging to collectively fight the “challenge of terrorism” and push for greater collaboration in areas of trade, energy and infrastructure development.

For sure the event would play a key role in establishing that peace and stability in the region and is pivotal for achieving regional economic goals.

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