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Nepal to host 18th SAARC Summit Nov 22-27

PTI 05 Aug 2014, 20:27:30 PM IST
Kathmandu: Nepal will host the 18th SAARC Summit here Nov 22-27, the government announced Tuesday.

The foreign ministry made the formal announcement saying the dates had been circulated by the Kathmandu-based SAARC Secretariat to the grouping's other seven member states.

"We decided to announce the dates of the summit," the ministry's assistant spokesperson Bharat Raj Regmi told IANS.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation has eight members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Nepal has formed a high-level preparatory committee and several other panels to make the event a success, officials said.

This is the third time Nepal will host the SAARC Summit after 1997 and 2002.

According to the events calendar, the programming committee meeting at the joint secretary level will be held Nov 22. The foreign secretaries' Standing Committee will meet Nov 23-24.

The SAARC council of ministers will get together Nov 25. The summit will be inaugurated Nov 26. The next day, the summit declaration will be announced followed by a retreat for the regional leaders.

Nine observer countries will also attend the summit.

Nepal's Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey will travel to member countries soon to extend invitations to the heads of state and government