Speaking at the 26th Meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers (COM) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Tuesday, the Iranian foreign minister said, “The developments of recent years in the world and its effects on our region have doubled the necessity of convergence among the countries of the region. Covid-19 and its destructive effects, as well as the recent crises of food and energy security in the world, clearly showed the vulnerability of different countries, regardless of their economic capacities. Therefore, for all the countries of the world and the region, strengthening resilience against possible shocks in the future is not a choice but a necessity. Of course, one of the available choices in realizing this resilience is collective cooperation in the form of multilateral mechanisms.”
ECO should promote intra-regional trade among members, Amir-Abdollahian added, suggesting that all members, and not just the 5 member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade Agreement (ECOTA), support the beginning of negotiations for trade liberalization at the regional level.
He noted that the current energy security crisis in the world and the region has clearly revealed the vulnerability of energy-consuming countries to unexpected shocks.
Climate changes and the recent winter cold also highlighted the vulnerability of some energy-producing countries, he added, saying that the ECO region can become a model of partnership between energy-producing countries and energy-consuming countries. “Undoubtedly, participation in the gas and electricity sectors is one of ECO’s priorities in this regard.”
Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the Iranian President’s initiative at the assembly of gas-exporting countries, saying that the initiative can also be the basis for participation in the ECO region.
“Eco needs more investments in the field of new technologies, knowledge-based industries and digitalization of economic activities. The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to share its achievements in knowledge-based fields with ECO member countries,” Amir-Abdollahian underlined.
Iran has always welcomed initiatives and proposals that lead to strengthening the role and position of ECO in the economic development of member countries, the Iranian top diplomat said.
Elsewhere he pointed to Afghanistan as a very important member, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran was one of the main countries in designing and approving the ECO support policy for Afghanistan and has always supported the necessity of its full and effective implementation.”
“Undoubtedly, the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan can not only help the aid programs and reconstruction of the country, but it will also reduce the threats caused by terrorist operations, refugees and drug trafficking for the region,” Iran’s foreign minister said.
Referring to the suspension of university education for women in Afghanistan, Amir-Abdollahian called it an action in conflict with the teachings of the religion of Islam and expressed deep concern about it.
He went on to say, “The Islamic Republic of Iran adheres to its obligations in the global arena in addition to adherence to its commitments in the region. Paying attention to human rights issues is among the priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it always welcomes dialogue within the framework of mutual respect and meaningful interaction with serious partners.”
Iran actively and responsibly participates in global and regional initiatives and programs to face environmental challenges and climate change, Amir-Abdollahian noted, adding, “We are trying to hold the International Dust International Conference based on the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.”
He also pointed to the anti-Iran resolutions, saying, “The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the balanced foreign policy, interaction and cooperation with the world and non-interference in internal affairs. We strongly condemn the issuance of the interventionist and unconventional resolution of the European Parliament. Undoubtedly, the negative consequences of such emotional behavior are costly for Europe. Focusing on diplomacy, constructive interaction and rationality is the best way [in international interactions].”
Referring to the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden, Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran strongly condemns the insulting behavior towards the sanctities of divine religions, especially the insulting of the Holy Qur’an and the support of Western governments under the title of freedom of expression.
Source » mehrnews