SAARC foreign ministers’ meet cancelled

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Tuesday cancelled a planned meeting of foreign ministers scheduled in New York for this week, on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, due to “lack of concurrence” among member states.

The meeting scheduled for September 25 had to be cancelled after most SAARC member states refused to entertain Pakistan’s request to allow the Taliban regime to represent Afghanistan in the meeting.

Pakistan had been insisting that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan be allowed to send a representative to the upcoming SAARC foreign ministers’ meet.

The summit will automatically be cancelled if any of the member states refuse to participate.

SAARC was formed in 1985 with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as members. Later in 2007, Afghanistan joined SAARC as its eighth member. Currently, Nepal is the Chair of SAARC.

The 19th SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November was postponed after India refused to take part in the meeting after its 18 soldiers were killed in Uri. India blamed Pakistan for the attack.

Nepal became SAARC chair after it hosted the 18th summit in Kathmandu. Last year, the meeting was held virtually owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read Also: 76th UN General Assembly begins today but Nepal yet to finalise team of delegates



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