SAARC member states to meet in Nepal

Kathmandu, Jan 30 (IANS) Senior officials of the eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will meet here this week to attend the Programming Committee.

This will be the first meeting of the SAARC member countries since the postponement of the 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad last November, officials said on Sunday.

During the meeting, SAARC member states will discuss a number of issues including the budget of the SAARC Secretariat and five regional centers of SAARC, Xinhua news agency quoted officials of the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying.

Nepal, current chair of the SAARC, had decided to postpone the SAARC Summit until further notice after four nations Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India decided to boycott the summit in Islamabad scheduled for November 9 and 10 last year.

India and three other nations had blamed Pakistan for not creating a conducive environment and not cooperating on combating cross-border terrorism in South Asia for holding the SAARC Summit, while Pakistan vehemently denied the charges.

SAARC is a regional body founded in 1985 in South Asia, comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

–IANS

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