Isfahan to host mayors of ECO member countries

July 17, 2020 - 19:46

TEHRAN – The city of Isfahan will host a meeting of mayors of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member countries to discuss ways to overcome the complicated coronavirus crisis through developing urban diplomacy.

Aiming for the sustainable economic development of its member states and the region as a whole, ECO was established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey and was later joined by seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. 

The meeting will be held in the Iranian calendar month of Shahrivar (August 22- September 21).

Although coronavirus halted some opportunities such as tourism development and holding international events, it became a common issue in urban diplomacy, Mehr quoted Iman Hojjati, Isfahan Municipality’s director for international affairs, as saying on Friday.

“The spread of COVID-19 caused us to benefit from the experiences of the sister cities of Isfahan by presenting creative ideas in various fields,” he highlighted.

In a situation where the country is bearing heavy pressures imposed by cruel sanctions, correspondence was made with 13 sister cities of Isfahan to redefine crisis diplomacy, so we got aware of the situation in other cities, and explained the conditions of Isfahan to them, he also explained.

He went on to say that we have discussed enhanced cooperation with sister cities such as Barcelona in Spain and Florence in Italy, and continued communication capacities were provided.

Relying on COVID-19 crisis diplomacy, a specialized meeting was held with the sister city of St. Petersburg, for the first time in a specialized working group, attended by the University of Medical Sciences, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Isfahan, he said.

He also referred to the online conversation between the mayor of Isfahan and the mayor of the Chinese city of Xi’an and said: “Isfahan municipality was able to use the capacity of dialogue and interaction with sister cities to transfer experience and solutions to the issue of coronavirus, and ranked among the three most successful municipalities in the country in finding a solution to the coronavirus crisis.”