H. E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC, called on H. E. Mr. Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs of India on 2 May 2013 in New Delhi.
During the meeting, the Secretary-General apprised the Minister of the ongoing activities of SAARC, with particular reference to the efforts underway to promote intra-regional trade and connectivity. He also expressed his gratitude to the Minister for the continuous support that he has been receiving from the Government of India in carrying out his responsibilities as the Secretary-General of SAARC since assuming office in March 2012.
While in New Delhi, the Secretary-General also met H. E. Mr. Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary of India. The Secretary-General and the Foreign Secretary discussed measures to promote regional cooperation in general, and the important role that India, as the largest member of SAARC, could play in this regard.
During these meetings, the Secretary-General also highlighted the need to convene the Inter-Summit of the SAARC Council of Ministers early.
The Secretary-General was visiting New Delhi from 1 to 5 May 2013 in connection with the Informal Meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers that was convened on 3 May 2013 on the sidelines of the 46th Annual General Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Addressing the informal meet of the Finance Ministers, the Secretary-General said, “Various studies, including many from our region, have concluded that infrastructure is poor in our countries and across the region, and there is much scope for investment in this field. Hence, the need for Infrastructure Financing becomes crucial, which, gladly, is also the theme of this informal meeting today.”
In addition to their regular meetings, SAARC Finance Ministers have been meeting informally on the sidelines of the annual meetings of ADB since 2006. This meeting in New Delhi is the seventh such gathering that brought together SAARC Finance Ministers to discuss ways and means to deepen regional economic and financial integration.