By Sorwar Alam
The ninth summit of the Developing-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) ended on Friday with a joint declaration reaffirming the group's commitments to establish peace, democracy, and solidarity among the member states.
Istanbul was hosting the ninth summit of the D-8, of which the theme was "Expanding Opportunities through Cooperation". Alongside Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan created the organization based in Istanbul.
In the declaration, the member states also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the creation of the D-8, adding that the organization had “entered a new phase of economic cooperation and development”.
The organization stressed the importance of “deepening the sectorial cooperation for deeper private sector involvement in all activities in order to attain 20 percent of total intra-D-8 trade”.
Member states also agreed to establish a “D-8 Project Support Fund” in order to sustain various projects.
The declaration underlined the progress in civil aviation, and in the development of all modes of transportation in order to connect all member states.
It also welcomed Iran’s initiative to establish a D-8 university.
D-8 member states should pen visa and the customs agreements as soon as possible, added the declaration.
Combined GDP of $3.7 trillion
The Istanbul declaration also urged “the establishment of D-8 Technology Transfer and Exchange Network (TTEN) and D-8 Petrochemical Association for the facilitation of transfer of technology and enhanced cooperation in the petrochemical sector”.
The D-8 members condemned extra-territorial jurisdiction and unilateral economic sanctions as tools of political or economic pressure against D-8 member states.
It also applauded Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish government and the people of Turkey "for their warm and generous hospitality and further express full solidarity with them against the coup attempt that took place in 2016".
The defeated coup on July 15, 2016 that martyred 250 peope in Turkey was orchestrated by U.S. based Fetullah Gulen and his Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
The D-8 was launched on June 15, 1997, after Turkey's then-prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world.
Today, it has a combined GDP of $3.7 trillion and includes more than 1 billion people -- around 15 percent of the world’s population.
Azerbaijan and Guinea attended the summit as guest states.
Bangladesh has offered to host the 10th D-8 summit in 2019.