H. E. Mr. Arjun B. Thapa, Secretary-General of SAARC, paid a visit to India from 7 to 9 April 2014 as part of his introductory visits to the Member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). This is the first visit to a member nation of SAARC undertaken by him following his assumption of office on 1 March 2014.
H. E. the Secretary-General of SAARC called on Hon. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India on 9 April 2014.
During the meeting, Hon. Prime Minister congratulated H. E. the Secretary-General of SAARC on his appointment. Hon. Prime Minister also expressed the firm commitment of India to the SAARC process for the common good of the peoples in the region. During the call on, H. E. Mr. Shiv Shanker Menon, National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister; H. E. Smt. Sujatha Singh, Foreign Secretary of India; Dr. Neena Malhotra, Joint Secretary (SAARC) at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi; and Mr. Jawed Ashraf, Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office were present.
H. E. the Secretary-General of SAARC apprised the Hon. Prime Minister about the ongoing activities of SAARC, with particular reference to trade and intra-regional connectivity. The Secretary-General apprised the Hon. Prime Minister about the offer of Nepal to host the Eighteenth Summit in Kathmandu in November 2014.
During the visit, H. E. Smt. Sujatha Singh, Foreign Secretary hosted a working luncheon meeting in honour of H. E. the Secretary-General of SAARC on 9 April 2014. During the meeting, H. E. the Secretary-General of SAARC and H. E. the Foreign Secretary of India exchanged views on a wide range of issues relating to SAARC, including matters pertaining to the upcoming Eighteenth SAARC Summit.
While in New Delhi, the executive heads of the South Asian University, SAARC Documentation Centre and SAARC Disaster Management Centre, all of which are based in New Delhi, also called on H. E. the Secretary-General for a briefing about their activities.