Senior officials meet in Istanbul before regional summit
Senior officials from Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states met in Istanbul yesterday ahead of this week's 11th Summit of ECO Heads of State and Government. During the two-day meeting, senior officials will assess preparations for tomorrow's 19th Council of Ministers Meeting and Thursday's summit. Senior officials will also review the draft Istanbul Declaration, set to be approved at the end of the summit. President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu are scheduled to hold bilateral talks with their counterparts during the Istanbul meetings. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled host a banquet tomorrow in honor of the visiting heads of state and government. During the summit, Turkey will assume the ECO's rotating presidency. The ECO, founded in 1985 by Turkey , Iran and Pakistan , is an intergovernmental regional organization promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation. Turkey hosted previous ECO summits of heads of state and government in 1993 and 2002.