ECO countries talk regional cooperation in ?stanbul



President Abdullah Gül welcomed Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is in ?stanbul to attend the ECO summit.

The foreign ministers of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states convened in ?stanbul yesterday on the sidelines of an ECO summit to be held today, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and President Abdullah Gül held bilateral talks with foreign leaders before the summit.
Speaking at the opening of the 19th Council of Ministers (COM) meeting, Turkish FM Ahmet Davuto?lu said they will discuss “important topics related to regional cooperation” and exchange views on global economic subjects.
Noting that Turkey is located in a sensitive region plagued with armed conflict and hot spots, Davuto?lu said Turkey is pursuing a multifaceted, proactive, constructive and visionary foreign policy and aims to greatly contribute to establishing security, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. The foreign minister said Turkey has made notable progress in reaching the 2015 goals set by the organization and that the country is “ready to help all other countries reach the 2015 goals.”
The 11th ECO Summit will primarily cover a midterm assessment of a vision document adopted in 2005 in Astana that set goals for the organization to be reached by 2015. Before the key summit on Thursday, Gül held bilateral talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov in ?stanbul. Erdo?an was also expected to meet with Aliyev and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad late on Wednesday. The prime minister plans to host a dinner for the foreign leaders on Wednesday. Davuto?lu noted that ECO has matured into a distinct international economic platform serving a population of 400 million and said the natural resources and dynamic labor force of the member states have created a significant strength and opportunity, with current global economic challenges having recently shown the importance of organizations such as ECO. Davuto?lu also urged all member countries to sign and ratify the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) in the shortest time possible and called on them to join the ECOBANK established in ?stanbul as the bank of the organization.
Davuto?lu, Salehi discuss nuclear talks

Davuto?lu also held bilateral talks with newly appointed Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in ?stanbul on Wednesday after the first panel of the ministerial meeting. This was Salehi’s first trip overseas. He was previously Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator before former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was suddenly sacked by the Iranian government.
The two foreign ministers discussed bilateral ties and regional issues in an hour-long meeting and that Salehi reiterated that Iran attaches importance to its relations with Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported diplomatic sources as saying. Salehi and Davuto?lu also discussed the second round of nuclear talks with major powers to be held in ?stanbul in January following a meeting in Geneva earlier this month.
Speaking at the event, Salehi said ECO has enormous potential in regional cooperation and that the future of the organization is hopeful.

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