21st century the century of Asia’s leadership: Rouhani


Tehran (ISNA) – Iranian president Hassan Rouhani addressed the ECO Summit on Wednesday and stressed on cooperation between the countries.

He addressed the opening session of the 13th Summit of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which began in Islamabad today.

“Let us believe that our power is in our links and the future of the region shall be formed with the decisions we make today and the prosperity of tomorrow depends on our bonds today,” president Rouhani said.

 “Our continent Asia is going to pump the heart of the world’s economy in the second half of the present century,” he added, stressing that promotion of connectivity will help development and prosperity in Asia.'

He further noted, “The unique status of our countries in transit and transport as well as energy and commerce has put the ECO in an ideal position. The ECO can and should play a prominent role in building the future economy of our region”.

 “Situated on the shores of several strategic waterways of the world and being neighbor to five important bodies of water, our countries have provided unique geopolitical and territorial conditions for our organization. There is no other trade and transit route linking Europe to Asia more cost-effective and shorter than the ECO pathway,” Rouhani said.

President Rouhani strongly believed that the economic strengthening of the ECO is tied to the close link among the member states.

 “Mobilizing our facilities, we are able to encourage and accelerate more growth for our countries. The economic strengthening of the ECO is tied to the close link among our people. We should remove impediments over connections among our people so that they enjoy facilitated visits and cooperation. Our cultural commonalities are precious assets for our economic integration,” he said.

 “The message of this summit to the entrepreneurs of the ECO Member States should be higher horizons, more integrity, and closer bonds,” the Iranian president insisted.

He referred to “Terrorism and Takfiri thoughts” as “a common threat to all of us and it is necessary to establish more coordination and cooperation in the confrontation with this vicious phenomenon”.

 “To overcome such problems, we should stop seeking hegemony, and cooperate instead in building a stronger region. I firmly believe that we can weather this crisis unharmed, provided that we stop unnecessary and destructive rivalry and believe in our ability to resolve our own problems and mobilize our desires to return to our historical status, meaning the highway of civilization, culture, and commerce” Rouhani said.

 “The Islamic Republic of Iran, having long joint borders with the six ECO Member States, deeply honors joint interests and bonds with its neighbors. Not only do we see no obstacle in deepening our relations and cooperate with the ECO Member States, but also we are prepared to enter into a more extensive scope of cooperation with the other players”.

 “The successful experience of nuclear negotiations which were concluded within a win-win framework has paved the way for taking a huge leap in regional cooperation with the ECO Member States with such a fruitful and hopeful approach. The end of the fabricated crisis over the peaceful nuclear activities of Iran and the accomplishment of such a significant international deal which has been ratified by the Security Council of the United Nations are an impressive achievement not only for Iran and the ECO but also for the world over,” he added.

President Rouhani concluded his statement, urging the participants to “focus our attention on our commonalities and turn differences to strengths with dialogue and cooperation”.

 “Let’s believe that our power resides with our connectivity. Let’s make our connectivity more sustainable.”

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