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Foreign Minister in Baku to attend 20th  ECO COM meeting

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan yesterday evening to attend the 20th ECO Council Of Ministers meeting. The Council of Ministers will review the implementation of passed decisions and consider new initiatives such as Pakistan’s proposal for the establishment of the ECO Parliamentary Association and the operationalization of the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) by 1st January 2013. The Council will also approve the agenda and the Baku Declaration of the 12th ECO Summit scheduled to take place tomorrow 16th October 2012 in Baku.

 

In her statement to the Council of Ministers, Foreign Minister Khar stressed on the need to strengthen intra-regional economic cooperation primarily in the important areas of commerce and trade, infrastructure connectivity and energy. She emphasized that this was essential for the Organization to meet the hopes and aspirations of the people of the region. She emphasized the need to develop synergies between ECO specialized agencies and institutions including the ECO Development Bank in order to realize the full potential of the Organization. She further said that the ECO Trade Agreement and the Transit Transport Framework Agreement should be translated into effective vehicles for regional economic integration. Infact, as ECOTA progresses, ECO will become more and more relevant. She added that, with the establishment of the ECO Parliamentary Association, the Organization would acquire public ownership.

 

On the sidelines of the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Foreign Minister Khar held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.  They exchanged views on the recent developments in the region and matters relating to the Economic Cooperation Organization. They agreed that ECO should be translated into an effective mechanism for economic integration in order to bring progress and prosperity to the region. They also discussed the status of their bilateral cooperation.

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