The Ambassador of Malaysia to Iran, H.E. Mr. Dato’ Rustam Yahaya, met with the ECO Secretary General, H.E Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, on 22nd January, 2020 in the ECO Secretariat. At the outset, the Secretary General extended a very warm welcome to the Malaysian Ambassador on visiting the ECO Secretariat.
The meeting focussed on ASEAN-ECO cooperation with a view to exploring possibilities of revitalizing and enriching mutually beneficial collaboration of the two organizations. In this regard, the Secretary General of the ECO highlighted the possible role of Malaysia as an active member of the ASEAN. The ECO Secretary General briefed Ambassador Yahaya about the background of the Economic Cooperation Organization and its activities in various spheres. The ECO Secretary General also apprised the visiting dignitary about the six priority areas of the ECO Vision 2025 including Trade, Transport and Connectivity, Energy, Tourism, Economic Growth as well as Social Welfare and Environment.
Referring to the importance attached by the ECO to ASEAN, the ECO Secretary General described a brief history of cooperative relationship between the two organizations. He informed the Malaysian Ambassador that the visit of the ASEAN Secretary General to Tehran in 1995 paved the way for formalising contacts at the level of the Secretaries-General and subsequently the 1st ASEAN-ECO Joint Ministerial Meeting was held on the sidelines of the 50th UNGA session in September 1995 in New York. The signing of the MoU between the two organizations in 2006 marked another significant development in consolidating institutionalized ASEAN-ECO cooperation. The Secretary General enlightened the Ambassador that so far 14 ASEAN-ECO Joint Ministerial Meetings have been organized and in the course of these meetings the leadership of the two regions has continuously stressed upon strengthening and expanding the ongoing cooperation.
The Malaysian Ambassador expressed his gratitude to H.E Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour for attaching considerable importance to enhancing the ASEAN-ECO cooperative relations in the coming years and expressed his readiness to support the initiative of the Secretary General to establish a mechanism of regular consultations between ASEAN and ECO at the ministerial and ambassadorial levels to render their relationship more productive and useful for their mutual benefit. In order to revitalizing the ASEAN-ECO joint Ministerial Meeting and reviewing the existing MoU and Work Programme between ASEAN and ECO, the two sides also agreed to convene a meeting of Ambassadors of ASEAN and ECO countries based in Tehran in the beginning of March 2020.