10-nation summit in Islamabad focuses on connectivity, terrorism, drug trafficking challenges

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BE2C2/MAMOSA Report — Ten member states belonging to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) at a summit in Islamabad resolved to focus on connectivity for energy, infrastructure, transport, and for trade to further regional prosperity.

Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan are the members of the ECO.

These nations expressed determination to face regional challenges, including terrorism and drug trafficking collectively – the dual menace whose outer contour touches their common boundaries.

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 was elected the chairman of the summit.

The Summit members adopted the Islamabad Declaration 2017 which highlighted the need to address other 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 other highlights of the meet.

Members resolved for “collective determination to…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 aspirations of Kashmiris and in the light of UN Charter, the Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has warned that delay in the settlement of the Kashmir dispute could spell disaster for regional peace, the Dawn newspaper reported.

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