SAARC leaders busy in bilateral meetings

Indian and Pakistan prime ministers are unlikely to hold bilateral meeting

Nov. 26, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -11 November. 21- 2014 (Mansir 5, 2071)

Following the inauguration of eighteenth Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Visiting state heads and government heads SAARC countries are busy in bilateral meetings.

However, the possibility of much awaited meeting between Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime minister Nawaj Sharif is unlikely. Till writing this news on Wednesday evening, officials from both the countries ruled out any possibility of meeting between two leaders.

However, Indian prime minister Modi and Pakistani prime minister Sharif met all other six leaders coming to take part in the Summit.

Despite their political differences, leaders  from SAARC countries focuses on climate change, terrorism, poverty eradication and economic integration as main agenda.            

As the region known for least integration, all the leaders are so much concerned about it. However, there is no sign to ease the situation. The chief delegates of Sought Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have stressed on inter-regional connectivity, poverty alleviation and resource mobilization for peace, prosperity and sustainable development of the SAARC region.

Inaugurating the opening ceremony of the ongoing 18th SAARC Summit, Nepalese prime minister Sushil Koirala stressed the need to improve the regional connectivity to eradicate poverty.

 President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen, facilitated the inaugural session before handing over the chairmanship to Nepal.

Speaking at the SAARC Summit, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif focused on disputes free south Asian countries and called on the forum to join hands against the socioeconomic disparities, terrorism and illiteracy rampant in the region.

 

Addressing the opening ceremony of SAARC Summit in the capital, the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed for concerted national and regional efforts to mitigate abject poverty, looming climate change and health problems arising from environmental degradation.

Afghani President Ashraf Ghani called on the summit to come together for peace, prosperity and accountability in the region. Furthermore, Ghani stressed for infrastructure for connectivity and regional cooperation in the SAARC region.

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina drew the attention of SAARC countries to fight against the existing abject poverty, food insecurity and drinking water in the region.

Addressing the SAARC Summit, Bhutani Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay stressed for diplomatic skills for poverty alleviation, to mitigate drug-trafficking and climate change in the region. He further stressed on socioeconomic well-being through inter-governmental agreement on power cooperation and motor and rail connectivity across the region.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi stressed for collective efforts to fight against trans-regional terrorism, crime and abject poverty. "When we join hands and walk in step the path becomes easier, the journey quicker and the destination closer," said PM Modi addressing the summit.

Prime Minister Modi stated that electricity should be made available as a commodity like any other that we invest and trade in. He also expressed commitment that India will meet shortfall in funds to establish the SAARC Regional Supra Reference Laboratory for TV and HIV.

Observer country Australia stressed for friendship, peace and prosperity and wished for even closer contact in future among SAARC countries.

Making remarks at the inaugural session of the ongoing SAARC Summit, observer country China said the efforts made by the association is significant for promoting socioeconomic development, peace and prosperity among the SAARC countries. Meanwhile China also called for concerted efforts for common development through science and technology in the region.

European Union diplomat Rensje Teerink stressed for culture exchanges and regional cooperation for the prosperity of the SAARC region.

Besides, representatives from observer countries Iran, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar and USA have also made their valuable remarks during the inaugural session.

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