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Ten Nations Pledge To Fight Terrorism, Nurture Prosperity At Pakistan Summit

A regional economic summit in Pakistan has concluded with 10 nations pledging to collectively fight the "challenge of terrorism" and push for greater collaboration on trade, energy, and infrastructure.

Islamabad hosted the daylong Economic Cooperation Organization summit on March 1.

"There has never been a more opportune time to realize our dreams of connectivity for regional prosperity," said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"We are determined to collectively face challenges such as extremism, terrorism, and drug trafficking in order to realize our vision of making the region a zone of peace and prosperity," he said. "We have committed ourselves to working together for bringing progressive change to the lives of the people in our region, transforming it into a bastion of peace, progress, and prosperity."

Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were among the heads of states who attended.

Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan founded the organization in 1985, which now includes most central Asian states.

Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal, said peace and stability in the region will enable nations to achieve economic goals.

The conference took place under tight security after a wave of recent suicide bombings by various militant groups killed more than 125 people across Pakistan.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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