KATHMANDU, Oct 5: The 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that Nepal was expected to host before May, 2013 is now set to be deferred. 

The SAARC Summit is set to be delayed as Maldives, which was supposed to hold Inter-Summit meeting in September, proposed holding the meeting only after February. 

“Maldives proposed holding the Inter-Summit meeting after February citing political reasons,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha upon his arrival in Kathmandu on Thursday, after participating in the 67th Session of UNGA.

The Inter-Summit meeting is considered important as it sets the agenda and exact date for the summit. Shrestha, however, said no discussion was held about the new date for the Summit during the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers held in New York. 

Shrestha informed that Bhutan agreed to resume the stalled Ministerial Joint Committee Meeting at the earliest to help resolve the Bhutanese refugee problem. 

“Bhutanese side has recognized that it is their responsibility to address the demands of those refugees who have refused third country resettlement,” he said. 

Shrestha also informed that the Indian side has agreed to propose a date for holding the Joint Commission meeting within the next few days after the Indian delegation arrives back home. The JC meeting is expected to hold discussions on whole gamut of bilateral relations between India and Nepal.

Source: myrepublica.com