Nepal To Hold Talks With SAARC Members For New Summit Dates

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Kathmandu: Nepal, the current Chair of SAARC, has said it will take the necessary initiatives and hold talks with member countries to press for holding the postponed summit.

Nepal Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat said SAARC member states must be sensitive towards holding the summit by ensuring the participation of every member.

The 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November, has been postponed after India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka pulled out, citing terrorism concerns in the region.

Mahat said the eight-member South Asian grouping is an important forum for advancing regional cooperation and development, and underlined that harmonious relations between member states would enhance utilisation of the association and encourage regional development, the Himalayan Times reported.

Mahat also said that Pakistan as host should make a conducive environment for holding the summit.

The 19th SAARC Summit was scheduled from November 9-10.

Earlier, the Nepal Foreign Ministry said that even if one member pulls out the summit cannot be held, as SAARC works on the basis of consensus.

Mahat arrived in Kathmandu after leading the Nepali delegation to the 71st United National General Assembly.

The minister shared that during the participation in the UNGA, the Nepali delegation had presented its views of national interest.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, Mahat had met US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif among others.

IANS