Zarif: ECO provides unique platform for region

IRNA – Iran Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) provides a unique platform for all of its member states and regional countries to engage in cooperation.

He made the remarks while speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Islamabad on Monday evening to attend the 22nd meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers.

‘We hope that during the chairmanship of Pakistan which will begin by the upcoming Summit in Islamabad, we can move the process of cooperation and integration among the countries of the ECO region and even further and enhance cooperation among them to a greater extent.

‘We are here now for the Economic Cooperation Organizantio (ECO) Summit. ECO is one of the very first regional organizations for development and now it includes a good number of members in the region.’

Commenting on Iran-Pakistan bilateral ties, Zarif said, ‘I do feel very good to be back in Islamabad. Our bilateral relations with Pakistan are excellent. Just a few days ago in Tehran I hosted my Pakistani counterpart Sartj Aziz and his delegation.

“We are very happy that our bilateral relations are moving forward.”

ECO is a ten-member regional organization, which includes Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The Summit will be preceded by the 22nd Meeting of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) on 28th February 2017 in Islamabad.

The Council of Ministers (COM) is the highest policy and decision-making body and is composed of Ministers of Foreign Affairs or such other representatives of the Ministerial rank as may be designated by the Government. The council of Ministers meets at least once a year by rotation among the Member-States.

The 21st Meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers was held in Tehran on 26 November 2013.