Zarif: Iran prioritizes expansion of cooperation with neighbors, regional countries

IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message on Saturday said that Tehran is to give high priority to expansion of cooperation with its neighbors as well as countries in the region.

“Pleased to be in Turkey, attending 24th ministerial meeting of the ECO,” Zarif wrote in his Twitter account.

He added “In keeping with Iran’s foreign policy that posits our neighbors should always come first, regional cooperation remains a priority.”

“We hope this cooperation can be welcomed by neighbors to our south, too,” Iranian top diplomat noted.

Earlier, addressing the 24th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Turkey, Zarif called for revitalization of the the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade Agreement (ECOTA) to provide enough room for regional businessmen to play active role to develop projects.

The ECO capacity for economic convergence has remained untouched, he noted.

He went on to say that promoting peace and security as well as the common values should be regarded among top priorities of the ECO members.

He termed the lack of a proper economic model as the first and foremost challenge of the ECO, noting that the cooperation framework to achieve the objectives of the ECO need to be rearranged.

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization that was founded in 1985 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities.