Islamabad:Economic Cooperation Organization 2017 ends with a very positive note with all member states endorsing their faith in ECO and looking forward to better economic developments. Here is what they have to say.
Prime Minister (PM) of Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov said that ECO will make rapid progress to reap benefits of mutual economic cooperation under the leadership of Pakistan.
He laid great emphasis on the cooperation in diverse sectors including trade, transport, agriculture, economy, tourism, science and technology.
Sooronbay Jeenbekov said that collective and joint approach of the ECO member states will make the organization a vibrant platform for mutual cooperation and bring development and prosperity to the region.
Prime Minister (PM) of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev said ECO has evolved into a multilateral platform to facilitate development of the region.
He said the organization should give priority to communication and infrastructure projects. He said Kazakhstan is also implementing huge projects that would link the country with Europe and the Chinese project of One Belt One Road.
The Kazakh premier also called for attaching more importance to energy security in the region. He invited member states to participate in an international science expo being held in his country this year.
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said ECO is important for constructive dialogue among member states. He said ECO has set the direction of development of the member states.
He said ECO has significant potential for expanding partnership particularly in vital issues including security. He stressed the need for cooperation among member states in energy. He said Turkmenistan's energy strategy is multi-directional.
Turkmenistan president said construction work on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline has been started and implementation of this project is being realised with the participation of ECO member states.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for early completion of reforms in ECO, strengthening of human resource of ECO Secretariat and and evolution of a mechanism for ownership of projects.
He laid stress on cooperation in energy and said his country would support all initiatives aimed at realization of this objective.
The Turkish president also underscored the need for greater cooperation in agriculture, environment and tourism.
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. This includes construction of the world's largest airport in Istanbul.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan also urged the need for resolution of political disputes and joint efforts to tackle the menace of terrorism.
Addressing the Summit, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev laid special emphasis on mutual cooperation among the ECO countries in the field of infrastructure, connectivity, and transportation for the development and the progress of the region.
He also condemned the growing Islmophobia and made it clear that Islam is a religion of peace and it should not be linked with terrorism.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked Pakistan for its support on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In his speech at the 13th ECO Summit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said with more understanding among the heads of State and Governments, we would be able to take longer strides in advancing the programmes and activities of the Organization.
He said ECO can play a vital role in building the future of economy of our region and for this to happen, he said the ECO needs restructuring.
He said 21st century is the era of emerging economy of Asia. He said economic activities are transferring from the West to East.
He said we have to connect ECO countries through highways. He said promotion of connectivity will help development and prosperity in Asia.
Hassan Rouhani said Iran is ready to play its role in solidifying the Economic Cooperation Organization.
He said the holding of 13th ECO Summit in Pakistan is a good omen and it will help implement long terms plans of the Organization.
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon said trade, investment and effective use of energy resources constitute key elements of regional cooperation.
He said ECO member states should pay greater attention to implementation of joint infrastructure projects to facilitate connectivity of transport and energy networks in the region.
He said activities of the ECO should help promote socio-economic development, poverty reduction and improvement in living standards in the member states.
The Tajik president also emphasized the need for developing road and sea routes through establishment of transport corridors.
He expressed the confidence that implementation of the high voltage power transmission line CASA-1000, acknowledged to be the first ever energy project between South and Central Asian regions, would help realize the objective of shared progress.
Afghanistan Ambassador to Pakistan:
Addressing the Summit, Afghanistan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal reiterated that his country is committed to the realisation of aims and objectives of ECO.
He said peace and stability is necessary in member states to promote regional connectivity. He stressed the need for utilisation of regional resources for the benefits of all the member states.
He said we can meet the challenges of poverty and other challenges through implementing a joint strategy.
The Afghan envoy expressed gratitude to all the leaders in the Summit for expressing support for the war-ravaged Afghanistan. He hoped that under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the ECO will be pushed to the new heights and extended full support on behalf of Afghanistan.
Executive vice Foreign Minister of China:
Speaking as Special guest, Executive Vice Foreign Minister of China Yesui Zhang said increased regional cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, and other areas will bring development and prosperity to the region.
He urged the ECO countries to step up strategic communication and cooperation for greater and in-depth regional cooperation. He said ECO countries have friendly ties with China in terms of cultural linkages, proximity, and old China Silk Road.
Yesui Zhang said ECO cooperation will help promote China's initiative of belt and road cooperation for greater regional integration, development, and prosperity.