Bangladesh wants to make SAARC people's regional orgn:Iftekhar

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Dhaka, Jul 28 (UNI) Bangladesh caretaker government's Foreign Advisor Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has said Bangladesh will make best efforts at the ensuing Colombo SAARC summit to render the South Asian forum into people's SAARC.

He made the remarks on the eve of his departure for Colombo, where he will lead the Bangladesh delegation to the ministerial component of the SAARC summit.

Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed will lead Bangladesh to the 15th SAARC summit in the Sri Lankan capital on August 2-3.

''At this summit we will address the crucial issues of the day - food, energy, trade and climate change, among other things,'' Dr Chowdhury said.

The Foreign Advisor welcomed the decision to establish the headquarters of the South Asian Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO) in Dhaka.

Dr Chowdhury said he will sign the South Asian Development Fund (SADF) agreement, which will be an important instrument for bringing visible, tangible and concrete benefits to the people of the member states.

''Our delegation, which is already there, has also informed me that we are in the final stages of negotiating convention on Mutual Loyal Assistance on Criminal Matters,'' he added.

The Advisor said, ''In today's world regional organisations in every part of the world are proving successful in improving the quality of the lives of their people. Europe and South East Asia are excellent examples.'' He stressed it was time to take SAARC forward towards that goal, particularly at this age which was seeing ''the dawning of the new Asian era.'' UNI XC RJ UCS1523

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