BIMSTEC FMs to discuss anti-terrorism measures

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (UNI) Senior officials from the seven-nation Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) met here today and discussed modalities for the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers meeting to be held here on Friday.

The BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers' meeting is likely to focus mainly on the issue of terrorism with the Ministers finalising an agreement for jointly combating terrorism which is affecting all the countries of the grouping. The agreement will be signed at the BIMSTEC Summit to be held in November in New Delhi.

BIMSTEC comprises India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka (which are also members of the SAARC), Thailand and Myanmar.

''Detailed and free discussions were held at the preparatory meeting of the BIMSTEC officials today and the officials deliberated on various issues affecting the region,'' a senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said.

The official said the minutes of today's meeting would be placed before the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers on Friday.

Foreign Ministers from all the seven countries of BIMSTEC would be participating in the Friday meeting, the official added. After the meeting, the Foreign Ministers will jointly call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Foreign Ministers are also likely to discuss the possibility of setting up of BIMSTEC headquarters to be located in any of the seven countries of the grouping, the official said.

The BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers, besides doing groundwork for the 2nd BIMSTEC Summit, will also discuss visa relaxation, regional connectivity and setting up of Centres on Climate Change and Energy.

Sources said the Foreign Ministerial meeting will focus more on security issues besides discussing economic cooperation, climate change and human development.

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