H.E.Mr. Arjun B. Thapa, Secretary-General of SAARC, has undertaken an introductory visit to the Maldives from 19 to 21August 2014.
During the visit, H.E. Mr. Thapacalled on H.E. Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, President of Maldives and briefed the president on the status of preparations for the 18th SAARC Summit, scheduled to be held in Nepal in the latter half of November. Discussions were held on reinvigorating SAARC and making SAARC more relevant and effective, through deeper and more meaningful regional integration. In this regard, President Yameen expressed his keenness to work with the Secretariat and the Member States of SAARC to produce favorable results from existing mechanisms such as SAFTA, as per the expectations of the peoples of the region.
H.E. Mr. Thapa also held discussions with H.E. Ms. DunyaMaumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E. Dr. Ali Naseer Mohamed, Foreign Secretary. The meetings focused on a way forward for SAARC under the Chairmanship of the Maldives, in the activities leading to the 18th Summit. Foreign Minister and the Foreign Secretary briefed the Secretary General on Maldives’ preparations on hosting an Informal Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers, on the Sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
H. E. the Foreign Secretary of Maldives hosted a lunch in honour of H. E. the Secretary-General of SAARC and his spouse on 20 August.
During the visit, H.E. Mr. Thapa also met with Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Former Secretary General of SAARC.
H. E. the Secretary-General was accompanied his spouse, Mrs. PabitraThapa and Ms. Fathimath Najwa, Director at the SAARC.