Nepalese delegation to leave for Colombo to attend SAARC Summit

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Kathmandu, Jul 31 (UNI) Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala will be leaving for Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, today to attend the two-day 15th SAARC Summit beginning August 2.

The 35-member Nepalese delegation includes Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat, Foreign Secretay Gyan Chandra Acharya and Prime Minister's daughter minister without portfolio Sujata Koirala.

The Maoists and UML had opposed the participation by Prime Minister Koirala during the SAARC summit, saying the caretaker prime minister should not take part in the important regional summit.

These two parties were campaigning saying the president should lead the Nepalese delegation.

After discussing with Mr Koirala, they agreed on his participation.

''We agreed to send Mr Koirala to the SAARC Summit after the government realised its mistake in failing to consult other political parties before taking the decision,'' said UML General Secretary Jhala Nath Khanal after the meeting.

The Maoists had called on Sri Lankan ambassador to Nepal Sumit Nkandala to stop Prime Minister Koirala from attending the the SAARC Summit. However, Mr Nkandala is learnt to have told the Maoist leaders that non-participation by a country will lead to the cancellation of the Summit and Sri Lankan government has to incur a huge loss.

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