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(English) Uncertainty still looms to host 18th SAARC summit

Logo of SAARC. File image.
Logo of SAARC. File image.

KATHMANDU, Nepal–The 18th summit of South Asian Association of Regional Corporation (SAARC) has been deferred, thanks to the political uncertainty and lack of required homework on the part of government.

Nepal promised to hold the summit by the first quarter of 2014, but now a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the summit has been put off till the first half of December.

Hosting SAARC summit is normally regarded as a big occasion and challenge while it needs special preparations for its grand success. Officials at the Ministry are in a dilemma since the government change is in the offing.

Holding summit is not a simple task while the condition of the streets of the capital Kathmandu is another challenge needing urgent renovation before the summit may be held. According to the preliminary estimate made by the Ministry of Finance, the total expenditure of the summit is Rs 800 million.

Likewise, the Foreign Ministry also requires purchasing Mercedes Benz cars, including eight super luxury bullet proof ones, for regional VVIPs and VIPS visiting Nepal to take part at the summit.

Lack of safe venue for organizing the summit is another restriction. For the convention, the ICC at Baneshwor would be a suitable venue, which has been occupied by the newly elected Constituent Assembly (CA) which also acts as the parliament.

According to experts, Nepal’s’s failure to hold the regional summit is likely to further erode the country’s international standing.

The The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and geographical cooperation among eight member states that are primarily located in  South Asia continent. Its secretariat is headquartered in the capital Kathmandu, Nepal. The last summit of the SAARC was held in

The Article III of the Sarrc Charter states, “The Heads of State or Government shall meet once a year or more often as and when considered necessary by the Member States.” The summit has not been organized since the 17th summit which was held from 10-11 of November 2011 in Addu City, Maldives.

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