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Foreign Minister highlights Pakistan’s commitment to ECO

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Shusha, 10 October 2023 (WAI): Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, leading Pakistan’s delegation at the 27th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Azerbaijan, emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to the ECO and its potential for regional reform. He expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan for hosting the summit and appreciated the leadership of ECO Secretary General Ambassador Khusrav Noziri and Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov.

Foreign Minister Jilani emphasized Pakistan’s enthusiastic participation in spreading ECO’s objectives and its commitment to pursuing the organization’s initiatives. The Foreign Minister underscored the ECO’s role in fostering global peace, stability, and prosperity by stimulating regional growth, collective development, and shared progress. Although the ECO region is enormous and home to 15% of the world’s population, it only contributes to 2% of global trade, necessitating measures to increase regional trade integration.

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Foreign Minister Jilani mentioned the “ECO Vision 2025,” which includes goals including growing intra-regional trade, improving regional connectivity, and promoting tourism. He urged member countries to emphasize the early implementation of the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) to enhance economic contact and trade links.

Furthermore, the Foreign Minister mentioned the ECO region’s strategic location at the intersection of important transportation arteries, including the INSTC, CPEC, and BRI, highlighting the relevance of connectivity through rail and road developments, visa regime liberalization, and simplified border procedures. These endeavors can lead to greater energy security, increased intra-regional trade, and long-term growth.

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Foreign Minister Jilani highlighted the rising concern of global warming, noting Pakistan’s experience with disastrous monsoon rains and flooding. He commended Azerbaijan for its “Year of Green Transition and Interconnectivity.” He suggested the creation of a well-funded organization to deal with environmental concerns and the region’s transition to a green economy.

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The Foreign Minister acknowledged the better security situation and government efforts regarding Afghanistan but underlined the importance of inclusivity, women’s rights, and counterterrorism measures. Foreign Minister Jilani emphasized the significance of a shared vision for regional connection and the contribution that connectivity initiatives have made to Afghanistan’s economic recovery.

Foreign Minister Jilani recognized the ECO’s success but advocated for reform to make the organization more efficient and result-oriented. He reiterated Pakistan’s continued adherence to the ECO’s vision and core objectives.

Foreign Minister Jilani campaigned for global peace, development, and cultural variety, emphasizing the value of discussion and diplomacy above conflict and division. He underscored the need for the world to learn from the ECO region’s cultural and historical power, build bridges, and bring humanity closer to face its difficulties.

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