Nepal has officially proposed to host the 18th Saarc Summit in November this year in Kathmandu.
Nepal made the proposal during the 35th meeting of the Saarc Council of Foreign Ministers in the Maldives today. Nepal earlier held the Saarc Summit twice.
"During the meeting, Nepal proposed to host the 18th Saarc Summit and the preceding meetings in the month of November 2014. The council welcomed the offer of Nepal to host the Summit," according to a message received from the Maldives today.
The Council Of Ministers, which comprises the foreign ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), also appointed Arjun Bahadur Thapa, former foreign secretary to Nepal as the next Secretary General of Saarc.
Arjun will be the 12th secretary-general of Saarc for a period of three years commencing on March 1, 2014. The incumbent secretary-general from the Maldives, Ahmed Saleem, is retiring at the end of this month after completion of his tenure.
Nepal should have hosted the summit much earlier but due to political instability, lack of logistic preparation and other regional reasons, it got delayed. The 17th summit was held in the Maldives in 2011 and Nepal is holding the next after a three-year hiatus.
President of the Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom inaugurated the Council of Ministers meeting, in which State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam led Bangladesh delegation.
Shahriar in his speech reiterated full commitment of Bangladesh towards moving the Saarc process forward for the benefit of the people of this region and reinforced Bangladesh position by emphasising key areas of cooperation such as trade, connectivity, energy, transport and poverty alleviation.
The meeting of the foreign ministers deliberated upon a number of core issues of regional cooperation under Saarc such as trade, finance, investment, poverty alleviation, connectivity, energy and infrastructure and made decisions towards further enhancing regional cooperation, said a Foreign Ministry press release.