SAARC Council of Ministers holds virtual meeting


Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali urged member states of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to explore all viable options to hold the 19th SAARC Summit.

Delivering his opening remarks at an informal meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers held virtually today, Minister Gyawali stressed the need to make SAARC an effective and result-oriented regional organisation capable of bringing visible changes in the lives of the people of South Asia.

Minister Gyanwali highlighted the need to forge deeper engagement among the member states to collectively fight Covid-19 and develop regional resilience to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi delivered Nepal’s national statement in the meeting. The meeting was hosted by Nepal as the current chair of SAARC.

Nepali delegation led by the foreign minister included Foreign Secretary Bairagi and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministers of External Affairs of all SAARC member countries participated in the meeting chaired by Gyawali.

India’s Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar reaffirmed India’s commitment to neighbourhood first policy and towards building a connected, integrated, secure and prosperous South Asia.

Jaishankar said cross-border terrorism, hindered connectivity and trade were three key challenges facing the SAARC region.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 25, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.