The leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey ended their two-day summit meeting at Izmir, Turkey, on Thursday (22 April), during which they discussed ways of breathing new life into their ailing economic alliance.
The leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey ended their two-day summit meeting at Izmir, Turkey, on Thursday (22 April), during which they discussed ways of breathing new life into their ailing economic alliance. They decided to set up a free trade area and a joint investment bank. A summit treaty signed by them is intended to give their alliance greater international standing.
The economies of the three countries, bound together to form the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), cover a wide spectrum of economic strength, from the oil wealth of Iran to the problems of development in Pakistan and Turkey.
The RCD is 12-years-old, and forms the backbone of the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO). But so far it has produced very few major cooperation projects between its divergent members.
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has described the RCD and CENTO as "antidiluvian", and has called for an organisation which would meet economic, political, ideological or military challenges.
But the Shah of Iran, when he arrived in Izmir on Wednesday (21 April), said he was hoping for results "mainly in the economic field" -- apparently ignoring Mr. Bhutto's call for a military edge to the RCD.
Officials from all three countries said they hoped the conference would inject new vitality into the RCD. But there appeared to be a wide gap between the Pakistani and Iranian views of the organisation's future, according to Reuters.
SYNOPSIS: Heavily armed security men stood on guard at the summit meeting in the Turkish city of Izmir between the leaders of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. The Shah of Iran, President Fahri Koruturk and Prime Minister Zulfikar Bhutto signed a pact on Wednesday at the end of the two-day meeting of their alliance, the Regional Cooperation for Development.
The Shah of Iran said on arrival he hoped for results in the economic field and apparently ignored the Pakistani Premier's call for a military edge to the RCD.
The three leaders signed a summit treaty at the end of the meeting designed to give the RCD greater international standing. They decided to set up a free trade area and a joint investment bank. The emphasis throughout the summit was on the ailing economic alliance.