23rd Meeting of ECO Council of Foreign Ministers held in Dushenbe on April 16-17, 2018

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The 23rd Meeting of the council of [Foreign] Ministers (ECO COM) was held in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan. The meeting was opened by H.E. Sartaj Aziz Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Government of Pakistan and was participated by the Ministers/Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs of all the ECO member States as well as representatives of Observers and Heads of ECO Specialized Agencies including ECO Science Foundation.

The previous chair of ECO COM i.e. Islamic Republic of Pakistan led by Mr. Sartaj Aziz opened the meeting by welcoming the Chief Guest of the meeting Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan H. E. SAID Davlatali and all the delegates and highlighting the major achievements of ECO during year of chairpersonship of Pakistan including the approval of ECO Vision 2025. The chair then invited the Secretary General ECO H.E. Halil Ibrahim Akca to present his report. Afterwards, the Deputy Prime Minister was invited to make a speech. The deputy prime minister welcomed the delegates to Dushanbe and assured of utmost efforts to lead the ECO mission during the next one year.

Prior to ECO COM meeting, senior officials meeting (SOM) was held which prepared for the COM meeting.

Subsequently, the host country Republic of Tajikistan was elected as the next chair of the council and invited the Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. Sirodjidin Aslov to take over the chair. Afterwards, the new chair conducted rest of the meeting.

On behalf of ECO science Foundation, its president Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro led the delegation. In his statement before the council of ministers, appreciated the governments of Pakistan and Iran for continued financial support and urged other members to ratify the charter of ECO Science Foundation and make mandatory budgetary contributions at their earliest. Dr. Soomro highlighted the role of science, technology and Innovation as well as Science Education in economic development of the region. He also shared the stronger international collaboration of the foundation. The Council while reviewing the progress of ECO science Foundation lauded. The activities of foundation and endorse its progress with appreciation.

President Soomro took the opportunity to have brief meeting with the minister for Foreign Affairs of Iran H.E. Javad Zareef along with president ECO Environmental Sciences and Technology (ECO-IEST) Dr. Asghar M. Fazel. While thanking the Foreign Minister of Iran for continued support highlighted the difficulties in transfer of funds to ECO Science Foundation from Iranian side. To which Mr. Zareef assured of all possible support and cooperation.

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