Indian PM Modi likely to attend BIMSTEC summit in Nepal

Kathmandu, 9 July : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit on August 30 and 31 in Nepal. The summit of heads of governments of the seven member countries — Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal — was to be held in March, but was rescheduled due to domestic developments in the Himalayan nation.

On June 6, Modi had greeted the leaders of BIMSTEC countries on the group’s 21st anniversary, saying the shared values would further strengthen cooperation and pave way for heightened development. “Greetings to fellow leaders and citizens of BIMSTEC on its 21st anniversary. Our shared values will further strengthen our friendship and cooperation, and pave way for heightened development of this region which is among the youngest and fastest growing economies of the world,” Modi had tweeted.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Myanmar President Win Myint, Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha are also expected to attend the summit to take a stock of progress of the regional organisation and set policies of the regional organisation, officials said.

The regional body, established in 1997, is often perceived as an alternative to SAARC. On the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Goa in October 2016, the BIMSTEC leaders had gathered in India for an outreach summit.

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