Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends ECO meeting in Uzbek capital, holds sideline meetings with counterparts
Türkiye will continue to do its part to make the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) "more effective," the country's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.
"Türkiye will continue to do its part to make ECO more effective and attain its true share in the world economy. We know that this is an ambitious goal," Cavusoglu said at the 26th Council of Ministers Meeting of ECO in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.
Cavusoglu said 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," Cavusoglu said.
He added that member states should enhance transportation and logistics networks, and make full use of instruments to enhance the regional trade, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade Agreement, known as ECOTA.
"We should continue our efforts in 2023 to turn 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 ECO, Cavusoglu 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, Cavusoglu met with Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to discuss economic and defense cooperation, as well as regional developments.
Cavusoglu 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 Ertugruloglu, foreign minister of the TRNC, Cavusoglu also voiced Türkiye's full support for the TRNC