ECO members for collective efforts against terrorism, drug trafficking

Published: March 1, 2017
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses the 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad on Wednesday. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses the 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad on Wednesday. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Members of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) have expressed determination to face regional challenges, including terrorism and drug trafficking collectively.

Members resolved for “collective determination to face regional challenges together, such as extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking and address unresolved conflicts, to make the region a zone of peace and prosperity,” a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

However, it did not specifically mention the Kashmir dispute and its resolution as per the aspersions of Kashmiris and in the light of UN Charter.

All the 10 member states, including Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, participated in the summit held in Islamabad.

Leaders including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraninan President Hassan Rouhani, among other heads of states and governments, attended the conference.

PM Nawaz Sharif, who was elected as the chairman of the summit, highlighted the region’s importance and appreciated ECO’s performance in various fields.

PHOTO: PID

He reiterated the commitment of Pakistan government to the organisation’s objectives, and expressed the hope that progress towards regional integration would be further accelerated.

According to the statement, the members underscored the need for expansion of cooperation, and reaffirmed their support to the goals and objectives of the organisation.

Afghan foreign minister skips ECO meeting amid rising tensions

The Summit, the communiqué added, adopted the Islamabad Declaration 2017 that represents the members’ collective political will to focus on connectivity of energy, infrastructure, transport, and trade for regional prosperity. The need to address common regional challenges such as climate change, and easing people-to-people contact, as well as revive and rebuild historical connections and promote regional tourism, were among the major takeaways of the meet.

“The[y] also reviewed the performance of the ECO, the progress made since the Baku Summit in 2012, and underlined the challenges and opportunities lying ahead, giving directions to pace up progress in various sectors.”

ECO Awards 2017 were also conferred on nationals of the member states. The awards were given in the field of economics, history, culture and fine arts, science and technology, education, agriculture and environment.

Even though the over 2500-word declaration sounded more of a generalised document, importance is being attached to the conduct of the summit in Islamabad, days after a series of terror attacks across the country, which killed over 100 people.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s decision not to boycott the event in the backdrop of escalated tension between the two neighbouring states is also being seen as Pakistan’s diplomatic success.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • BrainBro
    Mar 1, 2017 - 12:19PM

    So 10 heads of the state are safe in Pakistan, and foreign cricketers are not? Time for a reset on logic.Recommend

  • Vivek
    Mar 1, 2017 - 1:51PM

    It is just another time pass meeting,with the special guest as all weather friend. This conference is going on for past several years and nothing concrete out of this emerged except TAPI gas pipeline, this is also because of India Participating in it.

    Without getting land access to India both Iran and Afghanistan are not going to budge an Inch to allow Pakistan to use their territory to do over land trading with other countries. Recommend

  • Lolz
    Mar 1, 2017 - 3:06PM

    Opening of economic summit with closure of whole Islamabad. How important is this summit when the whole of federal capital is shut down with offices and schools closed for a whole day. This is a complete failure of intelligence agencies and state administration. Pathetic. Recommend

  • cautious
    Mar 1, 2017 - 8:07PM

    Why is a regional economic summit limited to Muslims and excludes the two dominate regional economic players? Recommend

  • Hamood
    Mar 1, 2017 - 8:35PM

    @Vivek, This has nothing to do with India. India is not the center of the universe.Recommend

  • Copper
    Mar 1, 2017 - 8:48PM

    @Vivek
    Don’t you trust your newspaper? Why so many Indian flock to Pakistani website..mostly to abuse/criticize. Recommend

  • Lumdheeng
    Mar 2, 2017 - 7:59AM

    @Copper Pakistanis too, flock Indian websites,and there are no moderators, unfortunately.Express Tribune has the right to block or allow, by moderating it views.Recommend

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