Cabinet approves 'Brief for Negotiation' on SAARC Convention

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New Delhi, Jul 24 (UNI) Ahead of the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo on August 1-3, the Union Cabinet today gave its approval for a 'Brief for Negotiation' to finalise the Text of the SAARC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

The 'Brief for Negotiations' will be taken up during the 35th Standing Committee Meeting of the SAARC on July 29-30 and at the Special Session of Legal Advisors on July 27 in the Sri Lankan capital.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the Cabinet had also given approval for authorising the External Affairs Ministry to negotiate and finalise the Text of the Convention during the senior officials' meeting and for signing of the Convention during the SAARC Summit.

The Convention would provide a broad framework for SAARC member countries to mutually cooperate and assist in the investigation and prosecution of crime and in tracing, restraint and forfeiture of the proceeds and instruments of crime.

Under the Convention, the member countries would grant to one another the ''widest possible measure'' of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

The Union Cabinet also approved the signing of the Agreement on the establishment of the South Asia Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO) to enhance the level of economic engagements with SAARC countries by envisaging regional cooperation on standards, quality control and legal metrology among SAARC countries.

The Agreement would also promote trade besides developing quality infrastructure in the region.

UNI RB Mir RK1445

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