BY ANADOLU AGENCY
Türkiye will continue to do its part to make the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) “more effective,” said the country’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Tuesday.
“Türkiye will continue to do its part to make the ECO more effective and attain its true share in the world economy. We know that this is an ambitious goal,” said Çavuşoğlu at the 26th Council of Ministers Meeting of the ECO in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.
Çavuşoğlu added that with a strong will, the organization’s members will strengthen it in the face of the current challenging global environment.
The ECO is a political and economic intergovernmental organization founded by Türkiye, Pakistan and Iran in 1985 to serve as a platform to discuss and improve development, and promote trade and investment opportunities. It currently has seven more members: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“Today, the global economy faces major challenges. Food and energy prices are constantly rising. There are disruptions and changes in global supply chains. Global economic growth has not fully recovered. To overcome these challenges, we should accelerate our economic cooperation,” said Çavuşoğlu.
He added that member states should enhance transportation and logistics networks, and make full use of instruments to enhance regional trade, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade Agreement, known as ECOTA.
“We should continue our efforts in 2023 to turn the ECO into a more effective and visible organization,” he stressed.
Turning to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is among the three observers of the ECO, Çavuşoğlu said, “It is, in fact, the most active observer in its contributions to our joint work. For the past 11 years, our Turkish Cypriot brothers participated and spoke at all high-level ECO meetings.”
On the meeting’s sidelines, Çavuşoğlu met with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to discuss economic and defense cooperation, as well as regional developments.
Çavuşoğlu also discussed relations between Türkiye and Uzbekistan in the fields of economy, culture and education with Bahtiyor Saidov, the Central Asian country’s foreign minister.
After a separate closed-door meeting on the sidelines with Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, foreign minister of Turkish Cyprus, Çavuşoğlu also voiced Türkiye’s full support for the TRNC.