Koirala to attend SAARC

July 31st, 2008 - 12:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Kathmandu, July 31 (ANI): Nepals caretaker Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala will leave for Colombo today to attend the 15th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit on August 2.
The Summit is expected to finalise four different agreements. They include agreements for a SAARC Development Fund, a South Asian Regional Standards Organisation, taking Afghanistan into the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) pact and the formation of a mutual legal assistance pact to deal with criminal activities.
The Summit is also likely to give top priority to regional cooperation on issues such as poverty alleviation, food security, energy crisis, terrorism and climate change.
Koirala is also expected to meet with regional leaders including Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Summit.
On Wednesday, during the meeting of top leaders of the four parties including the Nepali Congress (NC), the UML, the Maoists and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), it was agreed to let Koirala head the 35-member strong Nepali delegation.
Earlier, the Maoist and the UML were reiterating that being the caretaker Prime Minister, Koirala should not be allowed to attend SAARC, instead President Dr Ram Baran Yadav must go in his place.
They had even threatened to move the Constituent Assembly (CA) if Koirala went ahead with his plan to travel to Colombo.
The uncertainty of Nepal”’’s participation had thrown the Summit itself into uncertainty since as per the SAARC charter, the Summit cannot take place if even one of the member states cannot attend.
There are eight member states in SAARC including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan. (ANI)

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