ECO foreign ministers meet in Istanbul ahead of summit

21:35, December 22, 2010      

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Foreign ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member countries met here on Wednesday ahead of a leaders' summit scheduled for Thursday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in his opening remarks that the meeting would discuss important issues on regional cooperation and global economy.

Turkey has been following a multidimensional, proactive and vision-oriented foreign policy aimed at helping build an atmosphere of security, stability and prosperity in the region and in a broader geography, he said, noting the ECO took an important place in Turkey's foreign policy.

Davutoglu said the global economic challenges showed the importance of organizations like the ECO. He noted natural resources and dynamic manpower of ECO member countries created a significant momentum and opportunity for economic activity.

He urged all member countries to sign and ratify the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) in the shortest possible time and called on them to join the ECOBANK established in Istanbul as the bank of the organization.

The ECO, is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states.

ECO member countries include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Turkey has taken over the presidency of the Council of Ministers, the highest policy and decision-making body of the organization, from Iran which is represented by newly appointed foreign ministry caretaker Ali Akbar Salehi.

Source: Xinhua
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