Friday 20th October, 2017
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Kathmandu [Nepal], August 11 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Bhutan's Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji, who met in Kathmandu earlier in the day, reviewed all aspects of India-Bhutan partnership which is wide-ranging.

"Both reviewed all aspects of India-Bhutan partnership which is wide-ranging," Joint Secretary in-charge of ties with Bhutan Sudhakar Dalela said, while addressing the press conference.

MEA Secretary (East) Preeti Saran said that the Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) meeting was held in a very positive and constructive atmosphere.

"The meeting was held in a very positive and constructive atmosphere. The BIMSTEC is our natural partner for regional cooperation, represents common space for peace and development. All other member countries recognized role India has played in taking lead in rejuvenating this grouping," Saran said.

Swaraj, earlier in the day, said that India will be hosting the BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in October this year.

Speaking about the outcome of the first meeting of BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs in New Delhi this year, she said a holistic approach was adopted to tackle traditional and non-traditional security challenges, which threaten the region.

"We worked out collective strategies to counter the scourge of terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes, as also to strengthen our maritime and cyber security cooperation. Specific follow-up measures in these areas are now under progress," she said.

Two-day ministerial meeting of the BIMSTEC started here yesterday.

The meeting was organised in Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu.

At the top of the agenda for the meeting are finalising a free trade agreement among BIMSTEC members, including negotiations on market access for professionals and reducing the duty on trading goods.

The meeting was chaired by Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba with remarks from President of BIMSTEC, Nepal Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary of Nepal being organized in Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu.

The inaugural procession was attended by the Foreign/External Affairs Ministers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka and the Deputy Foreign Ministers from Myanmar and Thailand. Most of the delegates from BIMSTEC arrived Nepal capital on Thursday including Indian Minister for External Affairs Shushma Swaraj. (ANI)

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