4th BIMSTEC summit adopts Kathmandu declaration; PM Modi discusses issues of mutual cooperation with Thailand, Myanmar leaders

The BIMSTEC leaders have reaffirmed their strong commitment to make BIMSTEC a dynamic, effective and result-oriented regional organization for promoting a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal Region through meaningful cooperation and deeper integration.

At the successful completion of 4th BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu the leaders of all seven member states including Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the importance of robust institutional arrangements to effectively steering the process of regional cooperation under BIMSTEC.

The Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli presented draft Kathmandu declaration which was unanimously adopted by the all member states. Mr. Oli said that collective wisdom, thought and vision on the goal of peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region is eloquently captured in the Kathmandu declaration.

The Kathmandu Declaration has underlined the importance of multidimensional connectivity as a key enabler to economic integration for shared prosperity of the region. The declaration also highlighted the importance of trade and investment as one of the major contributing factors for fostering economic and social development in the region.

The BIMSTEC leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. They also affirmed that the fight against terrorism should target not only terrorists, terror organizations and networks but also identify and hold accountable States and non-State entities that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terrorists and terror groups and falsely extol their virtues.

Reiterating strong commitment to combat terrorism the leaders called upon all countries to devise a comprehensive approach to prevent financing of terrorists and terrorist actions from territories under their control, blocking recruitment and cross-border movement of terrorists, countering radicalization, countering misuse of internet for purposes of terrorism and dismantling terrorist safe havens.

The leaders also expressed commitment to eradicate poverty in the Bay of Bengal Region by 2030 in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A MoU was also signed on establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection to enhance energy cooperation among the member states.

Mr. Oli handed over the chairmanship of BIMSTEC to the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena. The leaders of all seven member states including Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the two day summit.

On the sidelines of the summit Prime Minister Modi held bilateral meeting with his Thailand counterpart Prayut Chan-o-Cha this morning. Both the leaders exchanged views on further cementing bilateral relations. Mr. Modi also met President of Myanmar Win Myint and discussed on development cooperation, energy and other areas of bilateral cooperation.

PM Modi will also have bilateral meetings with the leaders of Bhutan and Nepal. In the evening Mr. Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli will also jointly inaugurate Nepal Bharat Maitri Pashupati Dharamshala in the famous Pashupatinath temple premise.

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