SAARC meet successful: Rahim

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 14

The 12th summit of the South Asian nations has brought the SAARC process back on track, SAARC secretary-general QAMA Rahim said here today.

Addressing a press conference organised to apprise the outcome of the 12th SAARC Summit held in Islamabad from January 4 to 6, he said, "The Islamabad summit has remained the most productive summit and it has paved way for expanded cooperation."

Signing of SAARC Social Charter, agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Additional Protocol to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism has been the major highlights of the summit.

Similarly, the summit has given nod to the concept of SAARC energy link, regional food bank, adoption of regional environment treaty, among others.

The member states have also agreed to hold the summit on the first half of January every year beginning with the 13th SAARC summit to be held in Dhaka.

SAARC countries will observe 2004 as the awareness year for TB and HIV/AIDS while 2005 will be marked as the year of tourism.