4th BISMTEC summit to ‘strengthen’ South-East Asian relations: Modi

Varanasi: Prime minister Narendra Modi speaks during a public meeting, at Rajatalab in Varanasi on Saturday, July 14, 2018. (PTI Photo) (PTI7_14_2018_000192B)
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Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Support (BISMTEC) summit is to be held in Nepal and Prime Minister Modi has headed to the other nation for the same. On 29th August before embarking on his journey, he said that his participation symbolizes the priority India accords to deepening ties with India’s extended neighborhood in South-East Asia and the countries in those regions.

This is the 4th BISMTEC summit to be held in Nepal. Modi has also promised to meet notable leaders from Kathmandu, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand with the context to the summit which deals with the topic ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region’. The Summit’s theme, Modi said, will enable the member-countries to shape a collective response to their common aspirations and challenges.

“I also look forward to meeting Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli and reviewing the progress we have made in our bilateral ties since my last visit to Nepal in May 2018,” he said.

BIMSTEC is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. The grouping accounts for a total of 22% of the global population. Before leaving for the meeting the Prime Minister reiterated that this summit is “to further enrich our regional cooperation, enhance our trade ties and advance our collective efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal region”.

Upon arrival to the airport, the Indian PM was presented with the guard of honour by the Nepal Army personnel before he left the airport for Soaltee Crowne Plaza, which is the venue for the BIMSTEC summit, this year. The summit will witness participation of heads of states/governments of all seven member countries — Myanmar President Win Myint, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Bhutan’s Chief Justice and Chief Advisor of the Interim Government Tshering Wangchuk, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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