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SAARC '07 | Delhi to host meet in April

The next summit will be held in India from April 3 next year, with 2008 declared as the 'SAARC media year'.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 14:49 IST

The next SAARC summit will be held in New Delhi from April 3 next year, with 2008 declared as the 'SAARC media year'.

These were among the decisions taken at the recent ministerial-level meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) held here recently.

The meeting assumed special significance as it examined the follow-up actions on the "Dhaka Declaration" and other matters of interest, the BSS news agency said.

Bangladesh Observer noted that, unlike in the past, the finalisation of dates for the next SAARC summit in India was unanimously agreed upon without any problem.

This had often created problems in the past due to political and other differences among the member countries.

Moreover, the decision in principle to admit the US, South Korea and the European Union (EU) as "observers" in the forum is another recognition of the growing acceptance of SAARC at the international level.

Earlier, Asian economic powers Japan and China were accepted as "observers" for SAARC whose membership has also risen from seven to eight after Afghanistan was admitted as the new member, as decided in the Dhaka summit in November last year.

Kabul is likely to take its seat of a regular member of the association at the next summit.

The SAARC now appears to be more pronounced and action-oriented compared to the previous phase when the forum was bedevilled by inertia, the newspaper said.

Unable to solve the differences over SAFTA between India and Pakistan, the meeting of the council of ministers referred the thorny issue to the meeting of the SAARC commerce ministers.