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Nepal to talk with Saarc members to press for holding summit

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Kathmandu: Saarc Chair Nepal on Saturday said it will hold talks with member states to press for holding the grouping's summit which has been postponed following a pull- out by five countries, including India.

Nepal would take necessary initiatives and hold discussions with member countries to press for holding the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit (Saarc Summit), Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat said.

The 19th Saarc Summit was scheduled to take place in Pakistani capital Islamabad from 9 November to 10 November  but was postponed on Friday following the pull-out by five countries— India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Saarc member states must be sensitive towards holding the Summit by ensuring the participation of every member, Mahat said while talking to media persons upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport here.

"Saarc is an important forum for advancing regional cooperation and development," said the minister, landed in Kathmandu after leading the Nepali delegation to the 71st United National General Assembly (UNGA).

Harmonious relations between the member states would enhance utilisation of the association and encourage regional development, he was quoted as saying by Himalayan Times.

Besides India, three other Saarc members— Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan— pulled out of the summit, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet.

Sri Lanka also pulled out of the Saarc Summit, becoming the fifth country to do so.

Citing continuous cross border terrorism by Pakistan, India had announced earlier this week that "in the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad."

Saarc member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

First Published On : Oct 1, 2016 21:36 IST

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