14th SAARC summit, a chance for member nations to mutually benefit, says PM Koirala

14th SAARC summit, a chance for member nations to mutually benefit, says PM Koirala

Kantipur Report

KATHMANDU, April 6 - Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Friday said that the 14th SAARC summit was a huge success and that it provided an opportunity for member nations to find ways to mutually benefit from each other.

PM Koirala, who had left for New Delhi on April 1 to attend the 14th SAARC summit, made the comments while talking to media persons upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport this afternoon.

PM Koirala expressed his happiness that the other member nations had conveyed their full support to the proposals made by Nepal during the meet. The PM had forwarded Nepal's proposal on issues including flood control in areas along the Indo-Nepal border, efficient use of resources and poverty alleviation.

PM Koirala also said that the member nations during the two-day SAARC summit reached a consensus on such issues as flood control, energy utilization and poverty alleviation, among others, in a bid to make SAARC a more effective body in the days to come.

During his visit to India this time around, PM Koirala had held separate meetings with Indian Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh along with holding meetings with his other counterparts from participating nations.

The PM opined that the introduction of observer nations and Afghanistan into the SAARC has served to strengthen the South Asian body.

Stating that SAARC will become active within six months, PM Koirala said that the significance of SAARC has grown in the wake of the interest from powerful nations towards this South Asian body.

However, PM Koirala opted to keep mum on queries related to monarchy. A day earlier, talking to Nepali journalists in New Delhi, PM Koirala, in a roundabout way, had hinted at the republican set up. PM Koirala had taken a shot at the press when he answered a question with, "Are you talking about Gyanendra or king Gyanendra?"

Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan, Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and other government officials who had accompanied the PM also returned to the capital today.

Foreign Minister Pradhan commented that the international community had attached importance to Nepal because of the example Nepal had set through its peace process.

Informing media persons regarding the discussions about the Bhutanese refugee crisis with her Indian counterpart, Pradhan said that the Indian government had given its word that it would look into this matter.

She further said that India was positive in regards to cooperation in controlling crime in the border region.

On the eve of his departure from New Delhi, PM Koirala also held meeting with former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee. PM Koirala and Bajpayee discussed issues like the peace process in Nepal, recent Terai unrest and monarchy among others.

Similarly, PM Koriala’s meeting with Bhutanese Prime Minister Khandu Wangchuk was said to be quite fruitful as the Bhutanese PM gave his assurance that the issue would be resolved during the next bilateral ministerial-level meet.

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