Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned to New Delhi after attending the 18th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Nepal. With the issuing of Kathmandu Declaration, the summit concluded in Kathmandu yesterday.
The SAARC Framework Agreement on Energy (Electricity) Cooperation was signed among the countries. This pact will enable the member nations to trade electricity among themselves. Chairperson of the Summit and Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala announced that the 19th Summit will be held in Islamabad in 2016.
As the theme of the Summit was ‘Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity’, the heads of government expressed their strong determination to deepen regional integration for peace, stability and prosperity in South Asia by intensifying cooperation in various areas including security.
The leaders also unequivocally condemned terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations in the 26 point Kathmandu Declaration. The declaration also underlined the need for effective cooperation among member states to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
On the issue of if any country raised the matter of induction of China in SAARC, External Affairs Spokesperson,
Syed Akbaruddin said that there was no proposal of expansion of SAARC but to consider the Observers as dialogue partners. The programming committee is working on engaging them in development cooperation. Mr. Akbaruddin has termed Prime Minister Modi’s first SAARC Summit as successful with a satisfied outcome.
The other agreement on road connectivity will be signed within three months by the concerned Ministers of the SAARC countries. This was confirmed by Mr. Akbaruddin.
During his stay in Nepal, Modi also held bilateral meetings with top leaders of all SAARC countries except Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. However Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif exchanged pleasantries during the informal retreat at Dhulikhel.