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US seeks SAARC observer status

The United States has sought observer status of the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2006 15:19 IST

The United States has sought observer status of the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John Gastright, who is due here on a three-day official visit from on Thursday, is expected to communicate the request formally to Bangladesh, the current chair of SAARC.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Hemayetuddin said Bangladesh has received the request from the USA for observer status of SAARC.

The USA in its written communication to the SAARC secretariat last week has expressed its eagerness to get the observer status.

The communication, praising the successful summit in Dhaka said, "The US is also keenly interested get observer status of SAARC. We believe we have much to offer including technical assistance in areas like energy, development and free trade. As such, we like to officially request for observer status in the organisation."

John Gastright during his stay in the city is expected to call on Bangladesh Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan, adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Reaz Rahman, State Minister for Home Lutfuzzaman Babar and Foreign Secretary Hemayetuddin.