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PM flies to Nepal Tuesday to attend SAARC Summit
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-11-23,  Publish Time : 19:12,  View Count : 15
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Nepal on Tuesday afternoon to attend the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit.

The two-day SAARC Summit begins at the City Hall (Rashtriya Sabha Griha), Bhrikuti Mandap in Nepalese capital Kathmandu on November 26.

"Deeper integration for peace and prosperity" has been chosen as the theme for the Summit.

Foreign Ministry sources said a VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and members of her entourage is scheduled to depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3 pm on Tuesday. The flight is expected to land at Tribhuban International Airport in Kathmandu at 4.15 pm (Nepal time).

After a warm reception at the airport, the Prime Minister will be taken to Hotel Crown Plaza Kathmandu - Soaltee through a ceremonial motorcade where she will be staying during her visit to Nepal.

On November 26, the Bangladesh Prime Minister will attend and address the inaugural session of the 18th SAARC Summit along with other heads of state or government of the SAARC nations.

Before taking their respective seats on the stage, the SAARC leaders will join a photo session.

On the sidelines of the first-day summit, Sheikh Hasina is expected to hold meetings with Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Along with other heads of state or government, the Bangladesh premier will attend a banquet and cultural function hosted by the Nepalese prime minister at Crown Plaza Kathmandu - Soaltee the same day.

On November 27, Sheikh Hasina and other SAARC leaders will fly by helicopters to Dhulikhel, one of the top tourist places of Nepal, to join the Summit Retreat Session.

After returning from Dhulikhel, they will attend the concluding session of the summit the same day.

Sheikh Hasina along with other SAARC leaders will call on Nepalese President Dr Ram Baran Yadav at Rastrapati Bhawan (President House). They will also join a banquet hosted by the Nepalese president.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to return home at 12.05 pm on November 28.

Meanwhile speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said Dhaka will focus on 10 core issues for regional cooperation -- youth development, poverty alleviation, connectivity, climate change, science and technology, education, women empowerment, food security and combating terrorism.

"We'll also put emphasis on timely and proper implementation of the decisions within the SAARC," he mentioned, adding that Bangladesh wants to see the SAARC as a more vibrant platform to ensure people's benefits.

Ali said the meeting of eight South Asian nations is expected to ink SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger and Cargo Vehicular Traffic amongst SAARC member states, SAARC Regional Railways Agreement, and SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity).

Once the agreements were signed, he said, movement of goods and people would be improved among SAARC countries and cooperation in the energy sector would be strengthened. Bilateral and multilateral relations among the member states will also get a boost, Ali added.

The SAARC is an economic and geopolitical organization of eight countries that are primarily located in South Asia.

The idea of regional political and economical cooperation in South Asia was first raised in 1980 and the first summit was held in Dhaka on December 8 in 1985, when the organization was established by the governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Since then the organization has been expanded by accepting one new full member, Afghanistan, and several observer members.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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