Saarc meet begins todayPreparations have been completed for the 37th meeting of Saarc Council of Ministers at Saarc Foreign Minister level which begins in Pokhara on Thursday.
Preparations have been completed for the 37th meeting of Saarc Council of Ministers at Saarc Foreign Minister level which begins in Pokhara on Thursday. Six foreign ministers of the member states will be participating in the event also called ‘Mini Saarc Summit’.
The four-day event kicks off at Hotel Grand in the lake city on Monday, followed by Saarc Standing Committee meetings at Foreign Secretary level and Foreign Minister level that is also called Saarc Council of Ministers.
A majority of visiting dignitaries and officials will be flown to Pokhara from Kathmandu on a special flight of the Nepal Army upon their arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Security has been stepped up in the city.
Officials said that Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Khalil Karzai and Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Affairs adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister, will participate in the ministerial level meeting. The meeting is expected to announce the date for the 19th Saarc Summit to be held in Pakistan and will propose the new secretary general of the eight-member regional body. Nepal’s Arjun Bahadur Thapa currently holds the post.
Meanwhile, senior officials from the member states have arrived in Pokhara to participate in the 52th Saarc Programming Committee meeting.
The two-day meeting will dwell on various regional issues, including updating Saarc calendar of activities, review and assess the past implementation. The decision of programme committee will be forwarded to the 42nd Saarc Standing Committee meeting.
According to Joint Secretary at the Foreign Ministry Mani Sharma, who is leading the Nepali delegation at programming committee, the joint-secretary level meeting will also discuss on a wide range of issues, including a review of reports submitted by Saarc specialized bodies like Saarc University, Saarc Arbitrary Council.
Prime Minister KP Oli will inaugurate the ministerial meeting on Thursday, March 17 in Pokhara. He will be meeting visiting foreign ministers from the member states, including Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
Curbing terrorism, cooperation among the member states, connectivity, creating Saarc energy hub, Saarc Youth Charter, poverty alleviation, trade are among dozens of agendas for meetings of Saarc Council of Ministers and Standing Committee, said Sharma.