South Asian nations will sign a deal on Thursday to create a seamless electricity grid, Nepal’s foreign minister said, signalling an agreement to salvage a regional summit that had been overshadowed by hostilities between India and Pakistan.
“Yes the electricity agreement will be signed,” Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said.
All heads of the SAARC nations are meeting in Dhulikhel in Kavre district, 20 kms east from Kathmandu for a retreat which is a tradition of the Summit where leaders hold private, unofficial bilateral and multilateral talks in a relaxed and more informal atmosphere.
SAARC retreats are ideally organised outside the summit venue in resorts and hotels where the leaders can relax and discuss the bilateral and multilateral agendas. It also provides an opportunity to quell disagreements on unresolved issues.
On Wednesday, the Nepalese Foreign Minister had said that “there are some roadblocks and we are working to clear them.” He also said his country will make all efforts to ensure that the connectivity pacts, including the motor vehicle agreement, are signed before the SAARC declaration.