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Deuba meets Saarc leaders in New York

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 23, 2017-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who leads the Nepali delegation to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, held separate meetings with the heads of state/government of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York on Thursday.

Matters of common bilateral and international interests figured during the discussions, according to Nepal’s Permanent Mission in New York.

In the meeting with Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, the two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral ties. In the meeting between Deuba and Sheikh Hasina Wazed, the prime minister of Bangladesh emphasised enhancing transport connectivity and utilising the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) framework. The two sides also talked about enhancing energy cooperation and joint investment in Nepal’s hydropower.

In Deuba’s meeting with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the prime minister of Pakistan, the two sides exchanged views on different aspects of bilateral relations. Abbasi said Pakistan wants to hold the Saarc summit as soon as the member states are ready.

In his meeting with Maithripala Sirisena, the president of Sri Lanka, historic and religious linkages between the two countries were highlighted.

Recalling that this year marks the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations, both leaders talked about further strengthening trade, tourism and economic cooperation. Sirisena expressed his willingness to visit Nepal at a convenient date, which would be finalised later through diplomatic channels.

In the interactions, Nepal, as the Saarc chair, emphasised the need for further deepening regional cooperation and connectivity, calling for the hosting of the Saarc Summit at the earliest.

Saarc foreign ministers meet

On the sidelines of the UNGA, an informal meeting of the Saarc Council of Ministers was held in New York. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara presided over the meeting.

According to Nepal’s permanent mission in New York, the meeting reviewed the progress made in implementing the decisions of the Saarc Council of Ministers.

The ministers expressed their commitment to further strengthening regional cooperation. The foreign minister of Pakistan updated the meeting on the ongoing preparations for convening the 19th Saarc Summit to be held in Pakistan.

DPM Mahara also had separate bilateral meetings with Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, the foreign minister of Indonesia, and Retno Lestari Priansuri Marsudi, the foreign minister of Bahrain.

On Thursday, Mahara met Achim Steiner, the UNDP administrator. Mahara thanked the administrator for the continued support of UNDP in the socio-economic development of Nepal.

Highlighting that Nepal embarks on a journey of economic prosperity after the conclusion of the political transition, Mahara expressed his confidence that the experience of UNDP as a development partner would be critical in ensuring implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal.

Published: 23-09-2017 08:16

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