In the absence of Afghanistan, the 15th summit of the heads of state in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held on Monday in Turkmenistan as the country continues to face a daunting economic crisis, local media reported.
According to Tolo News, the meeting follows the ECO's ministerial summit held on November 28 in Ashgabat.
Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are members of the ECO.
During the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced concerns over the deteriorating economy of Afghanistan. "It is important to immediately establish lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, which is faced with a major humanitarian and economic crisis. It is our shared wish and objective that an understanding of administration that responds to the needs of all segments in the country would be developed," Tolo News quoted the Turkish President as saying.
"We support efforts aimed at keeping basic state structures, including critical sectors such as healthcare and education, functioning. The Afghan economy should be revitalized in order to prevent a refugee crisis that might affect our entire region," Erdogan said.
Meanwhile, some political analysts said Afghanistan's absence in the ECO summit will have negative consequences on the country.
"I think the absence of Afghanistan in the ECO summit-- considering the bad economic situation in the country--could have negative consequences on the government and the people," Tolo News quoted Khodayar Saeed, a university lecturer as saying.
The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, causing the US-backed government to step down. Later in September, the outfit announced the composition of the new interim government of Afghanistan.
The country is currently battered by the deepening economic, humanitarian, and security crisis following the Taliban takeover. The international community, from governments to non-governmental organizations, has been providing various assistance to the Afghan people. (ANI)