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Oli invites PM Hasina to BIMSTEC summit

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Aug 8, 2018-Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is reaching out to the heads of government of BIMSTEC member states to ensure their participation in the fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation to be held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31.

The summit is one of the most important multilateral diplomatic jamborees taking place in Nepal after the 2014 Saarc Summit. BIMSTEC is a regional organisation of seven countries lying adjacent to the Bay of Bengal.

Since its success hinges on participation from the top political level, PM Oli had a telephone conversation with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday and learnt about her preparations for the visit at a time when Dhaka faces unrest. There were rumours in Kathmandu that she might fail to attend the summit also due to the upcoming elections in her country.

PM’s Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal confirmed Oli’s conversation with her Bangladeshi counterpart. PM Oli is learnt to have informed her about the preparations being made in Kathmandu for the event. Sources said PM Hasina responded positive to the call and confirmed her participation.

Nepal, the current chair of BIMSTEC, has received written confirmations of participation from the six other member states. Since Bhutan has a caretaker government, its head, who will attend the summit, is unlikely to sign major agreements at the event. The government has formed more than a dozen committees to prepare for the summit. According to officials, these committees have sought over Rs2 billion for the preparations including road repair in the Valley, city beautification, logistics and security arrangements.

Published: 08-08-2018 08:06

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