Preparations for SAARC foreign ministers' meet on

Pokhara, February 12

As the meeting of SAARC foreign ministers draws closer, preparations are on to hold the meeting in Pokhara, one of the proposed sites for regional gathering.

The meeting, touted as the mini SAARC summit, will be held from February 14-17.

According to Local Development Officer of Kaski, Ramchandra Tiwari, as part of the preparations, the protocol chief of the foreign ministry paid an inspection visit to hotels in the city.

While five stars hotels like Fulbari Hotel and Hotel Pokhara Grande are on the priority list Fishtail, Temple Tree and Barahi are also mooted as possible venues for the SAARC event.

“Earlier, despite our all-out efforts to host some of the meetings of the 18th SAARC summit, we couldn’t make it due to various reasons but this time around we are doing our best to set the stage for the meeting,” said executive officer of Pokhara sub-metropolis Jhalakram Adhikari.

“Pokhara has international standard hotels and there are enough suits in the five-star hotels for the ministers participating in the meeting,” said Adhikari, adding, “We have a month’s time and we’re ready to do everything from repairing the road to making welcome gates.”

Western Regional Hotel Association Pokhara chairperson Bharatraj Parajuli, on his part, said the hotels in Pokhara were suitable for holding international-level seminars and meetings. “In fact, it would be a matter of pride for us if such international-level meetings are organised here,” said Bhattarai.

As to whether the venue had been fixed for the meeting, Western Region Regional Administrator Shankar Koirala said he had received no confirmation in that regard.

“We had discussed Pokhara as the venue, but we can’t say anything until we receive a confirmation,” said Koirala.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, who is also the Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development, today took stock of the services and facilities provided by top notch hotels, including five star hotels  Fulbari and Hotel Pokhara Grande.

While the regional administrator and the Chief District Officer of Kaski had informed him about services provided by hotels in the city, chiefs of security agencies had briefed him on the security situation in the district.

DPM Thapa, talking to journalists, said that the SAARC meeting would be held in Pokhara and sought support from the Pokharalis to make the event successful.

“The meeting is an important event, so I hope all the residents of Pokhara will help make it a grand success,” he said.