Prime Minister Oli visits SAARC Secretariat

Kathmandu, February 7

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is also the chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, paid a visit to the SAARC Headquarters in Thamel this morning. He was accompanied by his spouse.

Other members of his entourage included the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the SAARC Council of Ministers Pradeep Gyawali, foreign secretary and the chair of the SAARC Standing Committee, press adviser and a joint secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his address, Oli expressed happiness to visit the SAARC Headquarters for the first time as prime minister and its chair. “Neighbourhood relation and regional cooperation are one of the priorities of our foreign policy. As a founding member and current chair of SAARC, Nepal strongly believes in regional cooperation to promote collective well-being of the people of South Asia,” Oli said.

“SAARC is an expression of our regional solidarity in South Asia. It has become a common identity for the people of this region,” he said. “It represents hope of over 1.7 billion people from this region for accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development.” Stating that the 19th SAARC Summit was long overdue, he said, “We are eagerly looking forward to handing over the chairmanship. I hope the SAARC member states will come up with consensus to convene the summit at an early date.”

PM Oli also planted a rudrakshya sapling on its premises to mark his visit. After planting the sapling, he said, “May the rudrakshya sapling that I planted here grow to inspire the governments of South Asia to strengthen the SAARC process for delivering peace, development, prosperity and greater good of the people of South Asia.”

While welcoming the PM, Secretary General of SAARC Amjad Hussain B Sial said Nepal had been playing a very constructive role in its evolution. The secretary general said, “Convening of meetings of the Charter Bodies of SAARC, including the summit, provides renewed impetus to the SAARC process.”