Sri Lanka's national flag Photograph:( AFP )
On the first of April this year, the BIMSTEC foreign minister meet took place virtually. During the meet, the agenda for the leaders' meet was taken up
Sri Lanka has proposed holding the BIMSTEC summit in early December. This will be the fifth such summit of the grouping. The South Asian country is the chair of the grouping and had earlier proposed holding the summit in August.
The last summit took place in Kathmandu in 2018, with PM Modi and other regional leaders attending the meet. BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) has seven members —India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. The grouping is more than 20 years old and was formed in 1997.
On the first of April this year, the BIMSTEC foreign minister meet took place virtually. During the meet, the agenda for the leaders' meet was taken up.
Now, on the agenda will be the approval of the BIMSTEC Charter, BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity and BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Grouping is also working on the finalisation of the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and the Motor Vehicles Agreement.
India has been keen on the grouping, with SAARC unable to function well due to Pakistan's politicisation of many proposals of New Delhi. In 2019, India had invited BIMSTEC heads of government and states for PM Modi's oath-taking ceremony for second term.
After Sri Lanka, Thailand will be the host of the grouping.