Advanced teams from member states to assess SAARC preparations

Various SAARC member states are sending their “advanced teams” to Kathmandu to assess the preparations for the regional event scheduled for November 22-27. 

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said they have invited advanced teams from member states to assess preparations in terms of programs, logistics and security arrangements in the first week of November— two weeks ahead of the 18th SAARC Summit. Advanced teams from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are expected to arrive in Kathmandu to assess the preparations. 

As per the diplomatic practice, concerned head of state or the government takes decisions on whether to attend the summit as per the recommendations made by their respective ´advanced teams´, which will also include security officials. “We have already invited ´advanced teams´ after completing necessary preparations,” a senior official at MoFA told Republica.

While the Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey has already extended formal invitation on behalf of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to all the head of states and governments of SAARC member states to attend the Summit on November 26-27, the government has also invited all nine SAARC observer states to ensure participation in the summit at the highest level possible.

With just less than a month remaining for the summit to begin, government officials, especially those at MoFA, are working on war-footing to complete preparations for the summit. Although substantive preparations for the Summit are almost over, logistic arrangements, including procurement of bullet-proof and other high-end cars for the visiting dignitaries are still under way.

Officials said city beautification, including road expansion and Summit venue preparations is set to complete within a week. Meetings of SAARC Programming Committee, Standing Committee and Council of Ministers will be held before the Summit meeting scheduled for November 26-27.

Source: Republica