PM Modi to attend BIMSTEC Summit: Grouping likely to focus on terrorism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the two-day long BIMSTEC Summit in Nepal on August 30 and 31 wherein the member nations are likely to build up pressure on Pakistan to fight and eradicate terrorism, senior MEA officials announced here on Friday.

The seven-member grouping comprises of the five SAARC nations – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and two from South East region – Myanmar and Thailand.

“Countering terrorism is a very important subject for all of the BIMSTEC countries….The Declaration adopted at the Goa BIMSTEC Outreach Summit (2016) said that there was a detailed discussion on countering terrorism,” Preeti Saran, Secretary East in the MEA, told reporters here.

The Declaration had said that the leaders recognised that “terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to the peace and stability in our region and they reiterated strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.

“They also stressed that there will not be any justification for acts of terror on any ground whatsoever. The leaders condemned terrorism and said they seek to eliminate terrorists, terrorist organisations and network and also hold accountable and take strong measures against states that encourage, support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuaries to terrorism and terror groups…..This has since then remained an important component of the discussions,” Ms Saran said when asked to comment specifically on the role of Pakistan vis-a-vis terrorism.

Among other issues, the top leaders of the grouping is likely to have discussions on the Free Trade Agreement and other matters like connectivity, tourism, space and other sectors.

“There are softer connectivity like Motor Vehicle Act cooperation that is under discussion, there is also grid connectivity….Over all it has a big dimension,” she said.

There will be also discussions on coastal shipping, he said.

During his stay in Nepal, Prime Minister Modi is likely to have bilateral meetings with various leaders of member nations, she said, adding that the meeting with Nepal has been confirmed so far.

The components of the Summit would also include a Plenary session, Leaders’ Retreat, Foreign Ministers meet on August 29 and that to be preceded by senior officials meet on August 28, she said.


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