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BIMSTEC foreign secretaries meet today

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KATHMANDU — A meeting of foreign secretaries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member states — chaired by Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi — begins in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

The meeting will discuss issues related to clustering the areas of co-operation or downsizing them, strengthening the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka, and reviewing past achievements by the group, according to Foreign Ministry Assistant Spokesperson Rambabu Dhakal who further said the the meeting will prepare the agenda for the scheduled ministerial meeting as well as work on the draft for the Kathmandu declaration.

BIMSTEC foreign ministers will meet on Wednesday to discuss the Kathmandu Declaration.

After completing two meetings of the senior officials and foreign ministers, formal opening of the summit will take place on Thursday,according to the itinerary.

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President Bidya Devi Bhandari, before the opening session of the summit, will meet with BIMSTEC leaders at her office and will host a luncheon in honour of the visiting delegates.

The heads of government will start arriving in Kathmandu on Wednesday. But Myanmar President Win Myint will be the first head of state to land in Kathmandu, with his special aircraft scheduled to touch down at Tribhuvan International Airport at 2:45 pm Tuesday.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Bhutan’s Chief Justice and Chief Adviser to the Interim Government Tshering Wangchuk will land in Kathmandu on Wednesday, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will reach on Thursday morning.

Formal opening of the summit will take place in Hotel Soaltee, where all the heads of state/government will make their opening remarks during a programme chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

In the evening, Oli will hold talks with members of the delegation.

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BIMSTEC leaders will hold an informal meeting at Hotel Soaltee on Friday. Following the event, the heads of government will participate in the closing ceremony of the summit, where the BIMSTEC Kathmandu Declaration will be adopted.

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176 trafficked Nepalis rescued from Indo-Myanmar border

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KATHMANDU — At least 176 Nepali men and women, who were being trafficked into Myanmar, have been rescued by Manipur police and activists from different parts of Manipur, a northeastern state of India, in the last two days.

On their second day of rescue operation, the Tengnoupal police have rescued atleast 20 Nepalis including 5 women and 15 men, from a Hotel in Moreh town,Imphal Free Press, an English-language daily published from Manipur has reported.

The Moreh police have rescued as many as 60 nationals of Nepal including 45 women and 15 men.

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Earlier, over 105 Nepali women were rescued from Moreh and Imphal, the report stated.

The police team have also arrested the main suspect in the trafficking case identified as Madan Kumar Kharel, 52, Hailing from 07 Prithvinagar, Jhapa, Nepal.

The accused is reportedly responsible for bringing 20 of the 40 Nepali girls who were rescued from Moreh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Police also rescued 51 Nepalis from Imphal including 38 women and 13 men during Saturday rescue operations.

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