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SAARC Foreign Ministers Okay Iran's request for Observer status

New Delhi, April 2, IRNA - The eight foreign ministers of SAARC Summit gave clearance to Iran's request for 'Observer' membership and forwarded it to the head of states' summit to be held in New Delhi tomorrow.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon in a news briefing held in New Delhi at the venue of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit announced that Foreign Ministers Summit held today morning at 10 am gave clearance to the Islamic Republic of Iran's request to be included as observer member.

He said apart from the SAARC ministerial meet, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri separately and discussed the matters of Siachen Glacier and Sir Creek and joint survey of Sir Creek was done by both sides and both sides are having common map which was positive step forward in Indo-Pak relations.

Menon further said that Indian foreign minister also met his Sri Lankan and Bangladesh counterparts and issues of mutual interests were discussed. While in meeting with Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama India raised concerns on firing on fishermen, which was refuted by Sri Lankan minister that his country's armed forces never fire on Indian fishermen.

Bangladesh Foreign Advisor Iftekhar Ahmad Chowdhury in meeting with Indian foreign minister hoped for improvement of bilateral relations between the two nations.

He said earlier Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conferred with Bhutan and Nepal counterparts ahead of official SAARC summit.

Indian foreign secretary in his press conference also mentioned other issues which were discussed was forming SAARC fund with a total amount of $ 300 million in which India has decided to contribute $ 100 million.

Menon while replying to a question on SAFTA said India and Pakistan are continuing their talks on this matter.

He also told media that a Regional Mutual Extradition pact which was initiated by Sri Lanka was being looked upon between India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as terrorism is the main cause of concern to everybody and is opposed by all.

... Payvand News - 4/2/07 ... --

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