President Ghani leaves for Kathmandu
The president left Kabul for Nepal on Tuesday to attend the 18th SAARC summit, a statement from the Presidential Palace said. It said the president during his three day’s visit would address the summit.
Ghani is expected to meet South Asian leaders on the sidelines of the summit. He will be meeting the host country’s president, prime minister and other leaders of SAARC member countries.
Leaders from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka will meet as a group and also hold bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the summit.
The Afghan leader is accompanied on the trip by acting foreign minister Zarar Ahmad Usmani and his spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his Indian courterpart Narendra Modi, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen had already arrived in Katmandu by midday Tuesday.
"We want peace and stability in the region. We want to make SARRC a strong trading and economic block like the European Union," said the Pakistani premier in a pre-departure statement.
“I look forward to holding bilateral discussions with other South Asian heads of state and government on the margins of the Saarc summit,” Modi said in a statement Tuesday.
Security was stepped around the Nepalese capital. The route between the airport and the conference hotel was blocked by security personnel all day. Commercial flights at the nation's only international airport were also stopped for most part of Tuesday.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.