13th ECO Summit: 7 Heads of states to land in Islamabad

13th ECO Summit: 7 Heads of states to land in Islamabad
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ISLAMABAD: (APP) Pakistan is hosting the 13th ECO Summit here on 1 March and it would be preceded by the Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) on February 26 27, and Council of Foreign Ministers ' Meeting (COM) on February 28.

Briefing the media persons at the foreign Office here Saturday about the 13th ECO Summit and the expected outcomes, he said that Pakistan earlier hosted the 3rd ECO Summit at Islamabad in May 1995.

Most of the member states have already confirmed participation at Heads of State or Heads of Government level.

To a query, he said seven out of ten member states have confirmed the partition at highest level whereas Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have not yet confirmed. However, Afghanistan's participation at the Foreign Minister level has already been confirmed.

High level participation of the member states will greatly enhance the vitality and substance of the Summit, he said.

ECO Observers and special guests have also been invited to attend the Summit.

Replying to a question, he said elaborate and comprehensive security arrangements have been made for the Summit and asserted that it would send a very positive message to the world.

To another question about India's bid to isolate Pakistan in the comity of the nations, Sartaj said that no such effort has so far borne any fruit. "Our importance and strategic role in Muslim countries is still vitally significant and we continue to participate in the proceedings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). We were away from the SAARC summit only."

He informed that the Secretary General of SAARC (Pakistan's Foreign Office Official) is expected to join the SAARC Secretariat next month.

He said the theme of ECO Summit is "Connectivity for Regional Prosperity" and the Summit will deliberate and decide on ways and means to augment cooperation in the areas of connectivity, trade, energy, tourism, investment, industry, economic growth, productivity, social welfare and environment.

Initiatives for furtherance of education and scientific linkages, cultural and people to-people contacts within the ECO would also be deliberated upon during the Summit, he added.

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