ISLAMABAD, JUL 3 – Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, Secretary General, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The exchange of views covered matters relating to ECO’s vision, response to Covid-19, ECO’s projects for enhanced economic cooperation and connectivity, and developments in the region.
Pakistan, being one of the founding members of ECO, has been at the forefront of efforts to transform this multilateral platform into a formidable economic bloc and effective instrument of regional economic cooperation.
The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to ECO and its processes and assured the Secretary General of his full support for greater integration and enhanced cooperation between the ECO members states in line with ECO Vision 2025.
The Foreign Minister apprised the ECO Secretary General of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries. He stated that coordinated and comprehensive actions were essential to create fiscal space needed by the developing world to deal with the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.
The Foreign Minister extended Pakistan’s support for early convening of ECO Health Ministers’ virtual conference to chalk out a comprehensive regional response to COVID-19 threat.
Foreign Minister Qureshi shared deep concern over the double lockdown in IOJ&K,exacerbation of situation due to Covid-19,intensification of military crackdown by Indian occupation forces, and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. The Foreign Minister underlined the importance of urgent steps by the international community to help address the grave situation.
The Foreign Minister also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process and underlined that the historic opportunity created by the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement should be seized by the Afghan leadership to achieve a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.
The Secretary General condemned the Karachi Stock Exchange terrorist attack and extended condolences over the loss of precious lives. Appreciating Pakistan’s active role in ECO as a founding member, he updated the Foreign Minister on ECO’s different initiatives to advance the objectives of socio-economic development and regional integration.
The Foreign Minister and Secretary General Hadi Soleimanpour agreed to remain in touch to take forward the shared goals of Pakistan and ECO.