ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday held a telephonic conversation with the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour.
The exchange of views covered matters relating to ECO’s vision, response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECO’s projects for enhanced economic cooperation and connectivity, and developments in the region.
Pakistan, being one of the founding members of the 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 the 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 the ECO Vision 2025.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi apprised the ECO secretary general of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for Developing Countries.
Qureshi said 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 the early convening of the ECO Health Ministers’ virtual conference to chalk out a comprehensive regional response to COVID-19 threat.
The minister shared deep concern over the double lockdown in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), exacerbation of situation due to COVID-19, intensification of the military crackdown by Indian occupation forces, and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi 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 US-Taliban peace agreement should be seized by the Afghan leadership to achieve a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan.
The ECO secretary general condemned the Karachi Stock Exchange terrorist attack and extended condolences over the loss of precious lives.
While appreciating Pakistan’s active role in the ECO as a founding member, he updated the foreign minister on the ECO’s different initiatives to advance the objectives of socio-economic development and regional integration.
The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the ECO Secretary General Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour agreed to remain in touch to take forward the shared goals of Pakistan and ECO.