SAARC leaders gather at Nepal resort for retreat

SAARC leaders gather at Nepal resort for retreat

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew in an Indian Air Force chopper to the Dhulikhel resort to join other South Asian leaders at the retreat there Thursday, the concluding day of the two-day Saarc Summit.

While the heads of state and government of other member countries were flown to Dhulikhel in Kavre district by Nepal Army helicopters, Modi flew in an Indian Air Force helicopter, said media reports.

Nepal Prime Minister Shushil Koirala is hosting the event.
The leaders are to discuss the Saarc agenda as well as bilateral issues in an informal setting over breakfast and lunch.

The retreat is a unique tradition of the Saarc Summit where leaders hold private, unofficial bilateral and multilateral talks in a relaxed atmosphere.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not attending the retreat citing poor health, according to reports.

She has decided to rest at the Soaltee Crown Plaza until the closing ceremony of the 18th SAARC Summit in the evening.

Among the leaders gathered at the retreat are Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The retreat is to end at around 2 p.m. and all state leaders will fly back to Kathmandu from Dhulikhel for the closing event of the 18th Saarc Summit.

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