ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) will be held in Islamabad on January 23 next year aimed at promoting mutual trade; however, Iran has linked its participation in the Summit with the opening of seized accounts of its Embassy in Islamabad.
According to documents, invitations have been sent to Trade Ministers of all member Countries of ECO which include apart from Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Most of the ECO Trade Ministers have expressed willingness to attend the Islamabad Summit but Tehran has yet to confirm its participation because a Pakistani Private Bank seized the accounts of Iranian Embassy in Islamabad over US sanctions on Iran, says a report by Azhar Jatoi published on Daily 92 News.
The report cited the sources as saying that Iran has registered strong protest over seizure of accounts of its Embassy in Islamabad, and said that such initiatives send a negative message about Pak-Iran relations.
Iran is of the view that bank accounts of Embassies are exempted from any sanctions, and the move by the Private Bank has caused serious worries among the diplomatic staff.
Sources said that the Private Bank, which seized the accounts of Iranian Embassy, had to shut down its all branches in the United States following being slapped billions of rupees fines over poor performance. And now the same bank is causing conflict between the two Islamic and neighborly Countries.
Sources further told that the Ministry of Commerce has contacted the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan over Iran’s decision to not to attend the ECO Summit in Islamabad till its Embassy’s bank accounts are opened. But bank accounts of Iranian Embassy haven’t been opened yet; therefore, Tehran’s participation in the Summit is not ascertained.