BIMSTEC nations agree to work on Free Trade Area, combating terrorism

Binod Prasad Adhikari | Updated: Aug 12, 2017 07:38 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], August 12 (ANI):The foreign ministers of BIMSTEC countries have agreed to take measures to conclude a Free Trade Area, implement the Paris agreement on climate change and step up cooperation to combat terrorism. The foreign ministers of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal on Friday expressed "great concern'" over increasing threats from climate change and agreed to combat it at local, national and regional levels. During a two-day summit, seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations agreed to speed up the process for establishing Free Trade Area among the BIMSTEC member countries. It also agreed to sign and approve the Regional Conventions to combat International Terrorism, Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. "Agreements that tend to facilitate business, transport and other sectors amongst the BIMSTEC member countries will be signed, approved into regional conventions to help combat terrorism and control organised crimes," Foreign Minister of Nepal, Krishna Bahadur Mahara read out the agreements that were made in by the ministerial meeting, Nepal is the current Chair of the regional grouping and the Foreign/ External Affairs Ministers of the member states failed to finalise the date of the fourth BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Nepal later this year.They agreed to fix it through dialogue and consensus amongst the member nations. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the grouping expressed its "strong commitment" to combat terrorism, "which remains the single most significant threat to peace and stability in our region, in all its forms and manifestations." "Nepal has also proposed to hold the Fourth BISMSTEC Summit through consultation wth the member countries in search of due dates for all the countries to participate. The Summit will be hosted by Nepal," Foreign Minister Mahara said during briefing media.(ANI)