Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Thursday termed the 18th SAARC summit as a success noting that the leaders have agreed on policies for accelerated regional cooperation among member states in areas of interest.
The two-day summit also provided SAARC leaders to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines and discuss matters of mutual interest, including advancing the regional cooperation process, Koirala said addressing a press conference on conclusion of the conclave.
"The discussions and deliberations were held in a very friendly and cordial atmosphere," the Prime Minister noted.
"The summit also considered and endorsed the reports of the SAARC foreign ministers which recommends various ways and means to enhancing intra-regional trade, investment, connectivity and economic cooperation, fighting terrorism and other forms of social menaces, increasing agricultural productivity, alleviating poverty, promoting quality education, providing better health services and promoting culture in the region," according to Koirala.
During the summit, the leaders signed the SAARC Framework Agreement on Energy Cooperation and took note of the progress on finalisation of SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passengers and Cargo Vehicular Traffic and SAARC Regional Agreement on Railways, he pointed out.
A major outcome of the summit was adoption of the Kathmandu Declaration with the theme of "Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity" to deepen cooperation in core areas of trade, investment, finance, energy, infrastructure and connectivity, he said.
On the progress made by Nepal in taking forward the peace process and drafting a new Constitution, the Prime Minister said, "Nepal is driven by a vision of peace, stability and progress within an overall democratic polity".
Expressing his government's commitment to writing a new Constitution that is democratic and inclusive, Koirala said, "We are working to put the virtual cycle of peace process behind us and embark on the path of peace, democracy and development with the promulgation of an inclusive democratic Constitution through Constituent Assembly."
"SAARC will move forward on the path of democracy and development, and it will create an atmosphere of understanding and trust among all the member states," he said to a question whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif shook hands in the retreat organised for the leaders in Dhulikhel, a hill resort near Kathmandu, at his initiative.