Discussion begins at SAARC meet

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Pokhara(Nepal), Mar. 15 (ANI): The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Specialised Agencies on Tuesday forwarded four reports for discussion at the 52nd Programming Committee Meeting of the SAARC that began in Pokhara yesterday.

Mani Sharma Bhattarai, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is leading the Nepali delegation to the meeting, said that reports were submitted by chiefs of Saarc University, Saarc Development Fund, Saarc Arbitration Centre and Regional Standard Organisation, reports the Kathmandu Post.

Nepal, the current chair of the regional bloc, has faced a lot of criticism for inadequate efforts to steer the Saarc’s progress.

The earthquakes last year, sustained political standoff in the country and the border blockage are the reasons behind the lack of progress are what the officials say.

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Meanwhile, an official said that the mini Saarc summit will discuss all the progress made in the past and will chart out the future roadmap where the grouping needs to be headed reports the Kathmandu Post.

The official added that there were complaints and grievances among the members about the Saarc’s lacklustre progress and focus on how to provide momentum and finalising the calendar of events, setting the date for the new summit were discussed.

The agenda of education, trade, arbitration and other aspects of regional cooperation, which would also be discussed by the foreign secretaries and the foreign ministers later, were also discussed.

The programming committee’s decision and recommendations will be forwarded to the SAARC Standing Committee involving the foreign secretaries, which begins on Wednesday.(ANI)

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