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Sri Lanka to host next SAARC summit

world Updated: Dec 08, 2007 04:25 IST

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Sri Lanka will host the 15th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit next year, as Maldives is unable to do so due to domestic preoccupation, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in New Delhi on Friday.

"Owing to domestic preoccupations in 2008, Maldives will be hosting the SAARC summit in 2009," Mukherjee said after the daylong meeting of SAARC council of ministers concluded here.

"Sri Lanka will host the next summit to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence. The council welcomed the Sri Lankan offer," Mukherjee said.

Maldives, the Indian Ocean atoll nation, is unable to hold the summit as it will be holding multi-party elections next year according to a new constitution that is in the process of being finalised.

India hosted the 14th summit of the eight-nation association in April in New Delhi.