Nepal invites Modi, Imran for Sagarmatha Dialogue

Global meet to focus on threat of climate change to modern world

Updated - January 24, 2020 04:14 am IST

Published - January 24, 2020 03:13 am IST - KATHMANDU

Photo: Twitter/@S_Sambaad

Photo: Twitter/@S_Sambaad

Nepal has invited the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan along with several other heads of government and heads of state for the Sagarmatha Sambaad, officials in Kathmandu have confirmed. The first ever multi-stakeholder dialogue event is expected to be the biggest diplomatic initiative in Nepal’s recent history that will be attended by many global figures apart from the leaders of the member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

“Invitations have been sent to over 150 foreign guests including heads of government and heads of state, Ministers, business leaders, media, members of multilateral organisations, think-tank experts, academics, civil society leaders and activists,” said a source who is aware of the work of the Sagarmatha Secretariat of Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The official also confirmed that other SAARC leaders have also been invited.

An Indian source has confirmed that South Block has received the invite from Kathmandu.

The Nepal Foreign Ministry headed by Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has been spearheading the work for the event which is scheduled to focus on the threat of climate change to the modern world. Given the large number of global leaders, the event is expected to serve as a venue for bilateral interaction among leaders from various countries.

India and Pakistan have been caught up in a cycle of hostility, which had prevented Islamabad from hosting the SAARC Summit in 2016. The Kathmandu event aims to draw all the SAARC leaders and provide an opportunity to break the ice. India had accused Pakistan of cross border terrorism while boycotting the Islamabad summit leading to its cancellation.

Earlier last week, the Ministry of External Affairs had announced that India has invited all  heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member countries, including Prime Minister Imran Khan for the heads of government council of the SCO that will be hosted by New Delhi later in 2020.

The April 2-4 Sagarmatha Sambaad will also highlight Nepal’s ability to assert its point of view before the global audience with officials saying that they  are expected to build the event as a global and regional diplomatic venue.

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