Terrorism and connectivity were among the issues that dominated the first half of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Ministerial Conference in Delhi on Monday, as the foreign ministers of the member countries began preparing ground for the two-day 14th Summit of Heads of State/Government starting Tuesday.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, Rohitha Bogollagama (Sri Lanka), Sahana Pradhan (Nepal), Dr Ahmed Shahid (Maldives), Lyonpo Ugyen Tsherin (Bhutan), and Dr Iftekar Ahmed Chowdhary (foreign advisor of Bangladesh) are participating in the day-long ministerial conference being held a day after the Standing Committee meeting of SAARC foreign secretaries.
Although Afghanistan will be formally inducted as the eighth member of SAARC on Tuesday, Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta also attended the meet.
Sources said terrorism and regional connectivity were among the issues that dominated the morning session of the Foreign Ministerial Conference.
The foreign ministers will continue their deliberations after a South Asia Free Media Association lunch.
The sources said at the two-day foreign secretaries' meeting which concluded on Sunday, there was a proposal for Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties among member countries.
However, Pakistan objected to the extradition clause in the treaty saying it was a bilateral issue and should be discussed at bilateral meetings and not at a multi-lateral fora.
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said on Sunday that India had recommended that strong measures be taken against terrorism, and to see what further action could taken against the scourge.
He, however, did not go into the details saying the fight against terrorism was an ongoing process and the issue would be discussed at the foreign ministers' meeting on Monday as well as the summit on April 3-4.
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