D-8 may become beacon of hope: Turkish PM
ISLAMABAD – Anatolia News Agency
Muslim leaders met Nov. 22 as Pakistan hosts a rare summit designed to increase trade and investment but likely to be overshadowed by the Gaza conflict as diplomats scramble to arrange a ceasefire. AA PhotoThe “Developing 8” (D-8) countries may become a beacon of hope in tackling threats in the region, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, inviting member countries to take more active stances in the group.
“I am inviting D-8 countries to take a more effective stance against issues that threaten the peace and prosperity of all countries in our region. No single country can maintain stability and economic development on its own in a region of wars, conflicts, terrorism and disputes,” Erdoğan told leaders of the D-8 countries in the closing session of their summit meeting in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
Erdoğan also said D-8 countries could play an effective role in overcoming the global economic crisis, adding that D-8 members first needed to boost cooperation and solidarity among themselves.
“Every nation in the world, including the developed ones, should review their economic understanding based on consumption, greed and self-interest. I believe that as the D-8 we could assume a pioneering role in shaping this new perception,” Erdoğan said.
The prime minister said he believed that the D-8 would become a platform with a much stronger voice in the future: “We may turn the D-8 into a beacon of light to solve regional issues.”
Erdoğan said Turkey would keep doing its utmost to boost trade under the body of the D-8. Turkey’s trade with D-8 countries reached $25.5 billion in the first eight months of 2012, he said.
He met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Indonesian President Susilo Pambano Yudhoyono and Egptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki while at the meeting, which generally focused on the latest situation in Gaza and developments in Syria.
Meanwhile, a suicide attack on a Shiite Muslim procession in Pakistan’s city of Rawalpindi killed 23 people and wounded another 62 yesterday. The attack ripped through a downtown area of the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital, as Shiites were marching towards a mosque.