Nepal keen to host Saarc summit
Nepal is considering hosting the 18th Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) in February 2013.
For that, Nepal will have to pronounce its willingness on the concluding day of the 17th Summit, slated for November 10-11 in Addu Atoll Island of the Maldives.
Since its inception in Dhaka in 1985, Nepal hosted the 3rd and 11th Saarc summits in 1987 and 2002.
According to the Saarc Charter, the heads of state or government shall meet once a year or more often when considered necessary by the member states.
However, the upcoming meeting will convene after a gap of one-and-a-half-years. The previous one had taken place on April 28-29 in Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital.
Nepal has to organise the 18th Summit by November 2012; but diplomatic sources said Nepal would ask the Maldives, the would-be chair of the Saarc after the 17th Summit, for a three-month grace period.
The position of Saarc chair normally rotates among the member states every year in alphabetical order.
Sources in Nepal said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai would specially request the Maldives for the grace period -- citing Nepal's transition period -- next week.