Pakistani PM Sharif opens key regional economic summit

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assumed the charge of ECO Chairman

A sense of objective and renewal prevails among Economic Cooperation Organisation leaders as they gather in Islamabad to participate in the ECO's 13th summit on Wednesday where they are expected to pledge expansion of trade and economic relations and connectivity in the region.

Muslim nations can not permit terror organizations to incriminate Muslims, Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 1 in an address to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Islamabad. It now also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Turkey, Iran and Pakistan founded the organization in 1985.

The summit will review the standing of the ECO in the light of the new and emerging global and regional circumstances and discuss the course of action the organization should follow in expanding regional economic cooperation among its member states.

TRT World 's Hasan Abdullah is in Islamabad and has this update on the summit.

He said Turkey is implementing a number of big infrastructure projects that would link the country with neighbouring countries and regions through rail, roads, sea and air. He appreciated President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan for ably steering the ECO since the 2012 summit in Baku.

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"The ECO region is rich in resources and capabilities". He said economic activities are transferring from the West to East.

He said 21st century is the era of emerging economy of Asia. Erdoğan meets Rouhani In a speech at the same event, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said ECO could play a vital role in building the economic future of the region, but he also called for the restructuring of the organization.

He said the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would help boost the transit and energy corridors in the ECO region. In welcoming the heads of state and government, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for greater cooperation in trade, transport and energy.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has become chairman of ECO council of ministers.

He said initiatives for furtherance of education and scientific linkages, cultural and people to people contacts within the ECO will also be deliberated upon.

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