‘Nepal will take initiatives to hold 19th SAARC Summit’

KATHMANDU: Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat said that 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), which has been postponed after India-Pakistan relations soured in wake of terrorist attacks and cross-border skirmishes.

Nepal is current Chair of the regional body.

Talking to mediapersons upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on Saturday, Minister Mahat said that the SAARC member states must be sensitive towards holding the Summit by ensuring the participation of every member.

SAARC is an important forum for advancing regional cooperation and development, the Minister stated while underlining the fact that harmonious relations between the member states would enhance utilisation of the association and encourage regional development.

The 19th SAARC Summit was scheduled to take place in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, from November 9 to 10.

Mahat had landed 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 views of the national interests and necessity.

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