US to Attend SAARC Summit in the Maldives

Posted November 7th, 2011 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. State Department says Assistant Secretary of State , Robert O. Blake, will lead the U.S. delegation to the 2011 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in the Maldives. The summit will be held November 10-11 in Addu City.

A statement issued Monday said Blake's nearly week-long trip to the Maldives will include bilateral meetings with government officials from South Asia and fellow observer nations.

It said the U.S. delegation also includes the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal and the lead U.S. official accredited to SAARC, Scott DeLisi, and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Patricia Butenis.

The theme of the SAARC meeting is “Building Bridges.” It gives Washington the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to engaging with South Asia on shared interests and challenges. They include regional economic cooperation and integration along the New Silk Road, breaking down barriers to trade and travel, and improving people-to-people linkages.

The U.S. has enjoyed observer nation status at SAARC since 2007.