Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has praised the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), stressing that it provides an exceptional ground for collaboration among its members.
Zarif made the remarks on Monday after arriving in the Pakistani capital Islamabad to take part in the ECO's 22nd foreign ministerial meeting.
“ECO is one of the oldest economic cooperation organizations in the developing world and in Asia. The geographical extent of this organization has in the last 25 years, with the additions to its member states, almost encompassed the whole region,” he said.
He stressed that ECO is a unique platform for cooperation and development, and that its members should put more focus on the group’s operational procedures.
Iran is set to hand over ECO’s rotating presidency to Pakistan on Tuesday.
“The Islamic Republic has tried its best during its term of presidency to utilize the organization’s benefits towards the gain of all of its member states. We hope that such endeavors will be continued by Pakistan,” added Zarif.
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Iran’s foreign minister also hailed the increasing relations between the two countries. “I am very happy to be traveling to Pakistan again. The relations between these two Muslim and neighbor countries are very close and friendly."
Earlier in the month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced hopes that the upcoming meeting of the ECO will work to enhance relations and cooperation among the body’s member states.
The Tehran based intergovernmental regional organization was founded by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey back in 1985. It also groups Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.The body works toward ensuring that its members witness steady economic progress while also working to facilitate better cooperation among them.