Pakistan to host 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad next week

Pakistan to host 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad next week

The theme of Economic Cooperation Organization Summit is “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity”.

The 13th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit an inter-governmental regional grouping of 10 countries to be held in Islamabad on March 1st. The ECO conference will keep focus on regional connectivity.

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has confirmed the participants of ECO Summit. He said the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would help boost the transit and energy corridors in the ECO region will be held in Islamabad.

Briefing the media at the Foreign Office stated about the ECO Summit and the expected outcomes, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said, “Most of the member states have already confirmed participation at Heads of State or Heads of Government level”.

Sartaj Aziz said that seven out of 10 member states have confirmed the participation at the highest level whereas Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have not yet confirmed. However, Afghanistan’s participation at the foreign minister level has already been confirmed.

In the weekly briefing of the foreign office, the spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the summit meeting, having its roots in Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), will be preceded by the meetings of the senior officials and Council of Foreign Ministers. The RCD was a multi-governmental organization, which was originally established in 1964 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.

Economic Cooperation Organization is a priority area for Pakistan, held its last summit in 2012 and now it is Pakistan’s turn to host the meeting.

The member states of the organization are Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Iran is a leading member of the group.

The summit will deliberate and decide on ways and means to augment cooperation in the areas of connectivity, trade, energy, tourism, investment, industry, economic growth, productivity, social welfare and environment.

ECO Summit observers and special guests have also been invited to attend the summit, Advisor on Foreign Affairs said that “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an excellent example of the summit’s theme of connectivity and this project will connect with the existing and the planned transit and energy corridors in the ECO region for greater progress”.

Sartaj Aziz was of the view that importance and strategic role of the country in Muslim countries is still vitally significant. We will continue to participate in the proceedings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the summit will adopt ECO Vision 2025 that lays tangible goals for ECO, he added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will host lunch in honour of the visiting leaders. The leaders belonging to various groups in the Parliament would also be invited for the lunch including Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will inaugurate the summit with his theme explaining address. It has been decided that stringent security would be in place for the summit and preparatory meetings. Services of the Rangers would be acquired during the meetings. The Red-Zone of the federal capital would be sealed during the ECO engagements, the sources said.

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