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No: 286, 17 December 2010, Press Release Regarding the 11th Summit Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO)

The 11th Summit Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) will be held in İstanbul on 23 December 2010. It will be hosted by H.E.Mr. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey. Heads of States/Governments of the ECO member countries along with various international organisations and countries as special guests have been invited to the Summit.

Preceding the Summit, the 19th ECO Council of Ministers Meeting under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey will be held on 22 December 2010.

ECO was founded in 1985 by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, aims to foster economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member countries. It developed into a platform of multilateral economic cooperation covering a vast geography. Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan joined in the organisation in 1992.

ECO is the only major regional economic cooperation organisation in which Turkey and Central Asian Turkic Republics take part together.

Turkey hosted the ECO Summits twice, first in 1993 and second in 2002.

The theme of the 11th ECO Summit has been as “The Mid-Term Evaluation of the ECO 2015 Vision”.

“ECO 2015 Vision” adopted during the 15th ECO Council of Ministers held in 2005 in Astana, set new targets in priority areas of cooperation to be achieved by the year 2015. The 11th ECO Summit will enable the member countries to review the progress made during the last five years and to galvanize efforts towards achieving the 2015 Vision in time.

The agenda of the ECO Summit covers draft ECO agreements and regional projects of cooperation. “The Istanbul Declaration”, to be adopted at the end of the Summit will confirm the importance given by the ECO member countries to strengthening the cooperation in the framework of ECO.

H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, and H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will also hold bilateral talks in the margin of the 11th ECO Summit Meetings.