Minister Mahat bats for making SAARC more effective

NEW YORK: Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat stressed the need to make SAARC more effective and relevant.

He made the statement while addressing an informal meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the SAARC member nations in New York on Wednesday.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the United Nations Headquarters.

Stressing on making a common stand among the SAARC member nations on issues relating to poverty, unemployment, climate change as well as matters of mutual interests, Minister Mahat also underscored the effective implementation of the decisions made in the 37th SAARC Foreign Ministerial meeting held in March in Nepal.

Similarly, the meeting chaired by Minister Mahat also discussed preparations regarding the upcoming 19th SAARC Summit to be held in Pakistan in 2016.

Minister Mahat, who is leading the Nepali delegation to the UNGA, said they dwelt on the issues prevailing in the SAARC member nations and measures to be adopted to resolve them.

Similarly, SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa shared that the meeting reviewed the progress made in the SAARC member nations as well as deliberated the common course of action to be adopted by the three-decade-old regional body.

Matters related to the expansion of trade service, road connectivity, railway connectivity and communications network in among the South Asian countries were also discussed in the meeting.

Minister Mahat meets other dignitaries

Meanwhile, Minister Mahat held separate bilateral meetings with his counterparts of Mongolia and Serbia. During the meeting with Foreign Minister of Mongolia

During the meetings with the  Foreign Minister of Mongolia Tsend Munkh-Orgil and the first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Decic, the two sides discussed ways and means to further strengthen the bilateral relations and cooperation on matters of mutual interest including the Non-aligned movement.

In a reception hosted in honour of visiting heads of delegations by US President Barack Obama, Mahat talked to the US Secretary of State John Kerry on matters of mutual interests.

Minister Mahat also attended separate receptions organised by Japan, Singapore and Kuwait, and met his counterparts during the occasions.