ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has stressed on the need to make the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) an invaluable platform to promote connectivity, trade and economic cooperation among the member states.
The council of ministers of ECO held its 24th meeting in the Turkish city of Antalya on Saturday. Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas led the Pakistani delegation.
The meeting was attended by foreign ministers and representatives of the ECO member states and observers, along with representatives of international organisations. Secretary General ECO Dr Hadi Soleimanpour represented the ECO Secretariat.
In her statement, the parliamentary secretary stressed on the need to make the organisation an invaluable platform to promote connectivity, trade and economic cooperation among member states.
She emphasised that the ECO Trade Agreement and the Transit Transport Framework Agreement should be implemented to realise the full potential of the organisation.
She urged to conduct an analysis why despite the resources, the organisation has not been able to achieve the desired results. “To achieve results we have not gotten before, we need to do what we have not done before,” she said.
While drawing attention to India’s outright brutality especially to women and children and blatant disrespect or human dignity in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the parliamentary secretary said that Kashmir issue is a serious threat to regional peace and security and a roadblock reducing the economic potential of the region.
She encouraged the member states to stand up for justice and play their role for the peaceful resolution of this longstanding conflict according to UN resolutions. Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu assured that Pakistan and Kashmir have Turkey’s support.
Highlighting Pakistan’s initiative of opening Kartarpur corridor, the parliamentary secretary said that today is an historic day for Pakistan.
“Thousands of Sikh pilgrims from across the world are visiting Pakistan to celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. Pakistan was not supporting economic corridor, but trying to create corridor of peace also,” Abbas said.
The meeting deliberated the progress made since the last meeting. Secretary General Dr Soleimanpour highlighted the overall profile of ECO and progress made in various fields including trade and investment, transport and communications, agriculture and food security, energy and environment, and international relations.
Vision 2025 made in Islamabad meeting was reviewed and the parliamentary secretary emphasised the need to implement the vision and urged member states to make ECO truly effective.
The meeting also discussed the development of ECO since its expansion and exchanged views on the possible reforms needed for keeping pace with the evolving requirements of regional cooperation.
The participants renewed their commitment to promote regional economic integration among the ECO member states and resolved to play an active role for the realisation of the organisation’s aims and objectives.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the parliamentary secretary held bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Secretary General of ECO.
They exchanged views on the recent developments in the region and matters relating to the organisation. They agreed that ECO should be translated into an effective mechanism for economic integration in order to bring progress and prosperity to the region.