The 15th summit of the heads of state in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held in the absence of Afghanistan on November 29 in Turkmenistan as Afghanistan continues to face a daunting economic crisis.
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.
Talking at 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 is 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,” he said. “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.”
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,” said Khodayar Saeed, a university lecturer.
A number of citizens who are struggling with poverty meanwhile urged the international community to expand their aid to Afghanistan in a bid to avert a further crisis in the country.
“We are living in a situation where if we find a meal during the day, we do not have one at night. If we have a meal in the night, we do not have one during the day,” said Abdul Qader, a Kabul resident.