Pokhara all set for SAARC foreign ministers’ meet

Pokhara, March 13

Participants have started arriving in the Lake City to attend the SAARC foreign minister level meeting slated to begin tomorrow.

Officials from SAARC Secretariat, Foreign Ministry and SAARC countries arrived here today. Rajaram Bartaula at the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that some participants had arrived by air and some via the land route to the Lake City.

All the guests will stay at Grand Hotel in Pokhara.

Suites have been prepared for special guests at the Grand Hotel itself. Four more suites have been added keeping in mind the meeting.

On the first day, a meeting of the joint secretary-level programme committee will be held. Secretary level permanent committee’ meeting is slated for March 15. The foreign minister level meeting is scheduled for the last day on the four-day event.

Foreign ministers from six SAARC member countries have confirmed they will attend the meeting.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said deputy foreign minister from Afghanistan and Pakistani Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser will be participate at the meeting.

The meeting will dwell on road and air network, energy development, cooperation on control of terrorism, poverty alleviation, common trade and youth unemployment, among others.

The meeting will set the date for the next SAARC Summit and select a new secretary General for SARRC. Since the current secretary General is from Nepal, the next one will be chosen from Pakistan as per the provision.

Considered as Mini SAARC Summit, foreign ministers from SAARC countries will arrive here via Kathmandu on March 15 and 16.

Sushma Swaraj, the Inidan minister for External Affairs is slated to land in Kathmandu on March 16. Prime Minister

KP Sharma Oli will inaugurate the foreign minister level SAARC meet on March 17.

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, India’s External Affairs Minister Swaraj, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mohhamad Ali, Maldives’ Foreign Minister Dunaya Maumun, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samarawera, Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji, Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hikmat Khalid Karjai and Pakistani prime minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Ajij are scheduled to attend the meeting.

Nepali Army helicopters and special aircraft will be used to airlift guests from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Western Regional Administrator Shankar Prasad Koirala said preparations for the foreign minister level meeting are over.

Western regional Police office Chief DIGP Mingmar Lama said preparations for the meet were over. Kaski CDO Hari Prasad Mainali said that they had arranged the security for the meet, as per the integrated security plan.


People in Lake City elated

POKHARA: Shankar Prasad Koirala, western regional administrator said this is the first time such a mega event is being organised outside the Capital.

This is a matter of pride for the locals of the Lake City. Everyone here is elated and eagerly waiting for the meeting to kick off.

It has shown that a very important event can be organised outside Kathmandu. Since Pokhara is a destination for world tourism, this meet holds great significance. The participating dignitaries will definitely enjoy the beauty of Pokhara.

Tourism entrepreneurs are very happy to welcome guests as the event is sure to boost Pokhara’s tourism in the next season.

People from all walks of life have taken this event as their own.