Pakistan to Host Summit of 10-Nation Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) on March 1

MAMOSA Report — Pakistan announced that on March 1st the 13th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a ten-country member forum seeking to boost trade and development, will be held in capital Islamabad.

The two-day meeting will involve heads of state and government of seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, including Turkey.

China and Russia will also send observers to the summit.

Sartaj Aziz, adviser for Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister, told media on Saturday that the event will have the slogan ‘connectivity for regional prosperity’.

‘Measures as increasing cooperation in trade, energy, tourism, economic growth and productivity will be tackled in the event,’ Aziz said.

The Summit is expected to discuss a world-class infrastructure for speedy transportation of goods and people in the region.

China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative involving Pakistan as its sixth (southern) corridor seems the more realistic and rational option for ECO members. All of them are standing on this mentioned route and already have bilateral relations with China,” an analyst said.

The ECO was founded by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan in 1985. In 1992, the organization expanded to include seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

According to one observer, a new dawn of alliances and bilateral relationship is emerging at Pakistan’s foreign policy horizon. In past few years, Pakistan’s search for new horizons of economic and security cooperation with other regional alliances apart from SAARC and OIC has led Pakistan to a new era of strategic importance with unlimited choices and benefits.

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