AFGHANISTAN HOSTS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR FIRST TIME IN DECADES
Afghanistan this week is hosting the annual meeting of 10 member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) for the first time in decades, in what is viewed by many as a step towards normalcy following decades of war and internal conflict, RFE/RL reported on 16 October 2007. In addition to Afghanistan, the participating countries are Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, as well as the five former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Beheen said that the foreign ministers' meeting will take place on 20 October 2007, following days of gatherings between deputy foreign ministers and other high-ranking officials. During the final meeting, the deputy foreign ministers will present their conclusions on economic issues, trade, transportation, and regional cooperation to the ministers for discussion and approval.
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