ECO summit kicks off, Turkey's Gul elected term president

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Turkish President Abdullah Gul was elected the term president of the Economic Cooperation Organization.

ECO summit kicks off, Turkey's Gul elected term president

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Turkish President Abdullah Gul was elected the term president of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

The 11th summit of heads of state and government of the ECO began in Istanbul's Ciragan Palace on Thursday.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul is hosting the summit attended by ten member and guest countries including Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Some of the leaders participating in the summit are Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Tajik President Emomoli Rahman.

President Jalal Talabani of Iraq is attending the summit as a leader from one of the guest countries.

Delivering the opening remarks at the 11th summit of the heads of state and government of the ECO in Istanbul, Ahmadinejad thanked Gul for the hospitality displayed.

Less than two years have passed since the Tehran Summit. Since then, the ministers of respective countries held many meetings and various projects were put into service, Ahmadinejad said.

The ECO has great potential for comprehensive cooperation. I am confident that, under Mr. Gul's leadership, all members of the ECO will make sincere cooperation to reach long term goals, Ahmadinejad also said.

Turkey will take over ECO rotating presidency from Iran during the summit. Participants are expected to adopt an Istanbul declaration at the end of the meeting.

ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the Member States.

In 1992, the Organization was expanded to include seven new members, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.

ECO aims to boost cultural, commercial and economic cooperation among its members, and it also targets at establishing a free trade zone by 2015.

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Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2010, 14:32
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