Kathmandu, Dec 8: Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday called for an early convening of the 19th SAARC summit, while underscoring the need to revitalise the South Asian grouping and strive towards deeper regional integration with a focus on resilient recovery and building back better.
The eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) observes December 8 each year as the establishment day of the regional body. Extending greetings to the people and governments of the Member States on the occasion of the 37th Charter Day of the SAARC, Deuba said, “We must revitalise the SAARC process through an early convening of the 19th Summit.” The 19th Summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 15-16, 2016.
But after the militant attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing circumstances”.
The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet.
In his message, Prime Minister Deuba urged all the member nations “to promote regional harmony, end poverty and inequality, and build just and inclusive societies that are yet to gather requisite strength.”