The Pakistani official made the remarks in an address to the inaugural ceremony of a two-day second general conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO), began in Islamabad on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
"In addition to expanding the level of participation in the ECO, we must think of practical steps to strengthen it," Asad Qaiser said during the ceremony held via a videoconference.
He added that the ECO members are willing to have easy access to Central Asia and Europe, and "we consider it important to use Iran's road capacity", including its route to Turkey and Europe, for this purpose.
Asad Qaisar emphasized the railway connection between Chabahar and Gwadar ports will cause regional economic development and increase the connections between the ECO countries.
He stressed the importance of establishing lasting peace and stability in the region, including resolving the Afghan issue, resolving disputes in the subcontinent and the actions of the Islamic world to help the Palestinian people, adding that the international community must address the plight of the Palestinian people and prevent them from the Zionist aggression.
"To strengthen the structure of the ECO, we emphasize joint action of the member countries to overcome the health crisis, such as the corona pandemic, the promotion of joint trade, the conclusion of a transit trade agreement, the development of science and technology to strengthen livelihoods and increase investment," he said.
Speaking as a special guest on the occasion, President of Pakistan Arif Alvi said that Muslim countries will be able to gain a worthy place in the international community by strengthening their communities and livelihoods.
President Alvi criticized the international community's double standards towards developing countries, especially the West's biased approach towards Muslims, adding, "We want to further strengthen trade relations and economic cooperation between ECO countries."
The speakers of the Parliaments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan addressed the opening meeting.
In addition to the virtual presence of the speaker of the Iranian Parliament Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf at the Islamabad conference, the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by Iran's Ambassador Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, participated in the event.
Addressing the PAECO, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf called for plans to unleash the ECO potential and development of the required infrastructure for diversified institutionalization in the organization.
The Iranian Parliament speaker said the countries in the ECO region, covering an area of eight million square kilometers with a population of around 500 million, enjoy rich natural and human resources and a unique geographical position, as they connect Europe to the Far East, Tasnim reported.
Qalibaf also expressed the Iranian Parliament’s opposition to unilateralism, support for multilateralism, calling for collective efforts by the ECO members for the establishment of a fair and nondiscriminatory international economic system to stimulate economic growth and a balanced development.