Visit of EAM and FS for SAARC Meetings
Shri S. M. Krishna, Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs (EAM), GOI (7-9 February) and Foreign Secretary (FS), Smt. Nirupama Rao (5-9 February) and senior officials of MEA and MHA and a strong 20 member Indian media delegation visited Thimphu for 33rd Session of the SAARC Council of Ministers and Secretary and Official level meetings. The Ministerial Conference was inaugurated by Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan. The main outcomes/issues of discussions included farewell to the outgoing SAARC Secretary General, Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma and endorsement of the first lady SAARC Secretary General Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed from Maldives, Agreement on Framework for Motor Vehicles and Railways, other connectivity measures, poverty, reduction of tariff barriers and trade facilitation, environment, awarding of 2009 SAARC Youth Award to Anoka Primrose Abeyrathne from Sri Lanka for her commendable work on environment and climate change and promoting better people-to-people contacts in the sub-region. In last nine months since Bhutan took over SAARC Chairpersonship in the 16th SAARC Summit held in Thimphu in April 2010, Bhutan hosted 5 SAARC Ministerial meetings.
During the visit, EAM had an audience with HM the King and HM the 4th Druk Gyalpo and along with other SAARC Leaders of delegations jointly called on Prime Minister Thinley. EAM also met with his counterparts from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Pakistan's FS called on EAM.
FS had an audience with HM the King and HM the 4th Druk Gyalpo and called on PM Thinley and Acting Foreign Minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk. FS also met her counterparts from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal.
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