New York, USA, 26 September 2011

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The 11th ASEAN-Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Ministerial Meeting, convened here on Saturday at the sidelines of the 66th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), discussed the latest developments in both regions and reviewed the progress on the implementation of its decisions taken at the last Meeting.

This year’s Meeting highlighted the potentials for cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, narcotics control, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), tourism, and connectivity. The Meeting also discussed ways and means to enhance their relationship in the years to come and highlighted the potential of cooperation between the two organisations and resolved to translate it into tangible actions in the spirit of friendship, cooperation and mutual benefits. It also encouraged dialogues between the Senior Officials of the two organisations, and regular communication and interaction between the two Secretariats.

The Meeting also took stock of the current status of bilateral cooperation between ASEAN and ECO. It was of the view that the convening of a biennial ministerial meeting to be held alternately in an ASEAN and ECO Member State (in addition to the biennial ministerial meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA) would be useful to set the strategic vision of cooperative relationship between the two organisations to monitor the status of implementation of their directives and also to guide the strengthening of the relationship between ASEAN and ECO.

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The Meeting, which was co-chaired by Mr Hor Namhong, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Cambodia, and Mr Ahmet Davotuglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, was attended by the Foreign Ministers/Representatives of the Member States of ASEAN and the ECO, Secretary-General of ECO, and Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political Security Community, Mr Sayakane Sisouvong.

ECO, an intergovernmental regional organisation established in 1985, comprises of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.