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Pakistan to host regional ECO summit on March 1: Sartaj Aziz

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Addressing a meeting of senior officials of the ECO in Islamabad here, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was a major initiative which would benefit the entire region.

"Connectivity for regional prosperity is the theme of the summit", Geo Tv quoted Aziz as saying.

'Measures as increasing cooperation in trade, energy, tourism, economic growth and productivity will be tackled in the event, ' said Aziz.

Most member states have confirmed participation in the summit.

He said that ECO's vision 2025 is an important document and its adoption will serve the goal of increasing trade and economic relations among regional countries. He said Pakistan earlier hosted the 3rd ECO Summit in Islamabad in May 1995.

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Foreign Secretary said that vision is aimed at infrastructure development and enhanced trade which will offer remedies for the socio economic development of the region. It also groups Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The ECO aims at promoting sustainable economic development of member states through trade and economic cooperation as well as mutual assistance in social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.

Pakistan closed the border crossings with Afghanistan, demanded the handover of 76 wanted terrorists and shelled terrorist hideouts on the Afghan side of the border.

He said the linkage was not made in the past despite being the focus of the ECO since the time of RCD as there lacked infrastructural support.

The organization had its first summit held in Tehran in 1992.

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