Regional economic summit opens in Iran

March 11, 2009

, TEHRAN, March 11 – A summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation opened on Wednesday with leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and other regional countries gathering in Tehran.

The ECO, founded in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, will focus on the global financial crisis and its impact on the region.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and Turkish President Abdullah Gul are present for the summit, along with leaders of other ECO members such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Karzai\’s visit to Iran has gained significance amid reports that Iran is considering attending an international conference backed by the United States on Afghanistan later this month.

Karzai is expected to push Iran to attend the conference aimed at helping world powers in restoring stability in his violence-wracked country.

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