The 13th Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Summit meeting was held in Islamabad on March 1, 2017 under the theme of “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity” at the invitation of the Government of Pakistan. The summit was attended by all ten members of the ECO, as well as by a special guest from China, the Chinese vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and observers. Other representatives from the ECO member states included President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon,Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Ulugbak Rozukulov and Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal.[i]
The ECO was set up in 1985 as the successor of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), which was founded in 1963 by Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. After the disintegration of Soviet Union, the ECO was expanded in 1992 when six Central Asian states joined it. Later on, it was also joined by Afghanistan.