TEHRAN Mar. 9 (Mehr News Agency) - The 18th annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization ended in Tehran on Monday with three memorandums of understanding on the expansion of multilateral relations being signed.
MOUs on the drafting of a charter for the ECO Regional Institute for Standardization, Conformity Assessment, Accreditation and Metrology (RISCAM), the formulation of a protocol to streamline trade between ECO members, and Islamic Development Bank financial grants to ECO member states were signed, the Fars News Agency reported.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the ministerial council meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stated that Iran is in favor of Iraq joining ECO and is interested in expanding relations with non-ECO economic powers such as China and Russia, which it views as positive steps for bolstering regional cooperation in order to deal with the global economic downturn.
Mottaki, who was the chairman of the summit, referred to the necessity for proper management to respond to the global economic crisis, saying ECO members should try to turn challenges into opportunities.
He also called for a revision of the mechanisms and regulations of the organization to improve its efficiency.
The ECO council of ministers is its highest policymaking body, composed of the ministers of foreign affairs of the member states or other ministerial-level officials.
ECO is an international organization composed of 10 countries -- namely, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
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