Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan​ Abbasi, Prachanda discuss ways to revitalise SAARC process

Abbasi and Nepal's Maoist chief Prachanda discussed measures to improve bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Published: 06th March 2018 06:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2018 06:59 PM   |  A+A-


KATHMANDU: Visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today met Nepal's Maoist chief Prachanda and discussed with him measures to improve bilateral trade ties as well as ways to revitalise the SAARC process.

Abbasi met CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairperson 'Prachanda' in the capital this morning. The two leaders discussed relations between Nepal and Pakistan, Republica reported. After the meeting, Prachanda said that matters related to bilateral relations and mutual interests were discussed in the meeting.

During the 45-minute meeting, they also discussed measures to improve bilateral trade and economic relations. Prachanda said the meeting also stressed the need of initiative from all member-states to revitalise the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The 19th SAARC Summit, which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November 2016, was cancelled after India announced to boycott the meeting citing Pakistan's involvement in the Uri terror attack.

Three other SAARC members joined India, resulting in the cancellation of the summit. Abbasi also paid a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and addressed a programme organised by the SAARC Secretariat.

Abbasi yesterday met his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli here and discussed bilateral ties besides ways to revive the SAARC process. He also extended invitation to Oli to visit Pakistan. Abbasi is the first high level foreign leader to visit Nepal after Premier Oli assumed office last month.

This was the first official bilateral visit by any Pakistan Prime Minister to Nepal after a gap of 24 years. In 1994, the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto travelled to Nepal on a bilateral visit. Former premier Nawaz Sharif had visited Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit in 2014. Abbasi left for Pakistan this afternoon after wrapping up his two-day Nepal visit.


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