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Central, Western Asian Envoys Gather in Tehran


Iran's foreign minister is appealing to neighboring nations to enact current agreements meant to boost regional commercial ties.

Iranian state media quotes Manouchehr Mottaki Monday as telling his counterparts from members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) that current trade levels are "meager." But Mottaki held out hope for a free flow of investment and commodities as well as the movement of people in the region.

Mottaki was speaking at a Tehran meeting of foreign ministers of the ECO, the economic, technical and cultural organization of ten Central and Western Asian nations.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Pakistani Prime Minister Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are among the heads of ECO states expected to attend the ECO summit Wednesday.

Host Iran says the global economic crisis will be the focus of Wednesday's talks.

The ECO was founded in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and today includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP

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