Security blanket over Kathmandu as it readies for SAARC summit

Security blanket over Kathmandu as it readies for SAARC summit

Gearing up to host the SAARC summit after a gap of 12 years, the Nepalese capital has been put under a massive security blanket ahead of the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of the grouping who will discuss ways to improve regional cooperation.

Hundreds of armed commandos of Nepal Army have been deployed along all the arterial roads as well as prominent places in the city which have been decked up to greet the leaders of the eight-member grouping.

The two-day SAARC Summit, beginning on Wednesday, is expected to deliberate on a range of issues including liberalising trade, enhancing cooperation in the fields of education, healthcare, ensuring energy security and to deal with challenges of climate change.

The army today carried out motorcade rehearsal outside the City Hall at Bhrikutimandap where the 18th SAARC Summit will take place.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Modi has been stressing on strengthening the SAARC and he is likely to lay out his vision for regional cooperation in South Asia and India's approach to harnessing the developmental potential of the region.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is composed of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Kathmandu is hosting the SAARC Summit after an interval of 12 years. It previously hosted the summit in 2002.

The Foreign Secretaries of all the SAARC member countries today held deliberations for a second day and discussed a number of issues to enhance cooperation in areas of information and communications technology, transport, energy security, agriculture, rural development and food security.

They also discussed issues relating to environment, climate change, natural disaster, healthcare and education.

Acting Foreign Secretary of Nepal Shanker Das Bairagi indicated that combating challenges of terrorism are also likely to be discussed elaborately during the summit.

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