Tuesday Jan 03, 201205:06 PM GMT
Iran pres. to attend ECO summit
Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:1AM
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will travel to Turkey next week to attend the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit.

The 11th Heads of State and Government Summit of ECO is scheduled for December 23 in Istanbul, Mehr news agency reported.

Prior to the summit, economic experts will attend the senior officials meeting slated for December 20 and 21, and foreign ministers of ECO member countries will hold the 19th Council of Ministers Meeting on December 22.

The Iranian president will hold meetings with Turkish officials and representations from other ECO member countries on the sidelines of the summit.

The newly-appointed caretaker of Iran's Foreign Ministry Ali-Akbar Salehi will accompany Ahmadinejad in the upcoming trip.

Moreover, representatives from ECO Secretariat, ECO subsidiary organs and a number of international organizations are expected to attend the meetings.

The 10th ECO summit was held in Tehran in March 2009.

Following the summit, Turkish President Abdullah Gul will host a trilateral meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari aimed at bringing the two countries closer on December 24.

The ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey providing a platform to promote 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.

ECO members aim to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union.

ECO's secretariat and cultural department are located in Tehran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is situated in Pakistan.

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