Foreign Ministry team off to Delhi in run-up to Saarc Saarc

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 21, 2014-

A three-member team from the Foreign Ministry has left for Indian capital New Delhi to exchange information with diplomats from India, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan on preparations for the 18th Saarc Summit to be held in Kathmandu from November 22-27.

The team led by Prakash Subedi, head of the Saarc Preparatory Secretariat at the ministry, includes Under Secretary Bharat Kumar Regmi and Umakanta Acharya.

Besides sharing experience with the diplomats of the countries which played host to the recent Saarc summits, the Nepali team will be exploring options to rent bulletproof cars for the VVIPs attending the Summit in Kathmandu, said Khaganath Adhikari, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry.

While the ministry officials have been holding regular meetings with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan diplomats on the preparations for the Saarc Summit, that was not possible with Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan as they do not have diplomatic missions in Kathmandu.  The Nepali officials will also hold meeting with Saarc Division at India’s Ministry of External Affairs Ministry.

The Saarc Preparatory Secretariat is overseeing the preparations for the event, mainly logistics, in coordination with various line agencies.

During the visit, the team will also explore options to rent luxury bulletproof cars from private Indian firms for the Summit after the government dropped the idea of purchasing such vehicles. The government has already decided to hire seven bulletproof cars from a private car rental firm in India.

The Cabinet decision not to purchase the vehicles, informed sources say,  stemmed from government’s fears that it might be dragged into controversy if there emerged any financial embezzlement during the high-profile procurement. Besides, in view of both India and China offering all possible logistical help for the Summit in Kathmandu, the government realised hiring cars from a private firm as a safer bet than choosing one neighbour over the other.

During his Nepal visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged all possible help to Nepal for the Summit, while China conveyed similar message to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala during his meetings with Chinese officials in Kunming at the Second China-South Asia Exposition.


Published: 22-09-2014 09:40

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