Iran hosts informal ECO meeting
The Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Press TV reported.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, IRNA reported on Tuesday.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki listed major challenges before Muslim nations in the Middle East over the past year, including the desecration of the holy Qur'an, Israel's attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla and the heavy floods in Pakistan.
Mottaki praised Turkey's stance on the Israeli attack and lauded ECO's initiative in rushing aid to the flood-hit Pakistanis.
Foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and the ECO Secretary General also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that in addition to tackling economic issues, the ECO members should boost their cooperation in anti-drug measures as well.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu also emphasized that enhanced cooperation among ECO members could alter the existing strategic power balance of the world.
At the end of the gathering, the foreign ministers finalized a draft resolution on ECO's cooperation with the United Nations.
The Islamic Republic is to introduce the draft resolution to the UN General Assembly for approval by the UN member states.
The ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among member states.
The organization was expanded in 1992 to include seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.