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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) comprises eight countries of South Asia, i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. The idea of regional cooperation in South Asia was first mooted in May 1980 by Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman. President Rahman addressed letters to the Heads of Government of the countries of South Asia, presenting his vision for the future of the region and the compelling arguments for regional cooperation in the context of evolving international realities. The Foreign Secretaries of seven countries in South Asia met for the first time in Colombo in April 1981 and identified five broad areas for regional cooperation.

A series of meetings followed in Nepal (Kathmandu/November 1981), Pakistan (Islamabad/August, 1982), India (Delhi/July 1983) to enhance regional cooperation. The next step of this process was the Foreign Ministers meeting in New Delhi in 1983 where they adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC). During the next two years South Asian nations committed themselves to form this South Asian alliance and the process culminated in the First SAARC Summit held on 7-8 December in 1985 in Dhaka where the Heads of State or Government of seven countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka adopted the Charter formally establishing the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

SAARC Charter

SAARC Summits from 1985 - 2007

• Summit 1, Dhaka, December 8, 1985

• Summit 2, Bangalore, November 17, 1986

• Summit 3, Kathmandu, November 4, 1987

• Summit 4, Islamabad, December 31, 1988

• Summit 5, Male, November 23, 1990

• Summit 6, Colombo, December 21, 1991

• Summit 7, Dhaka, April 11, 1993

• Summit 8, New Delhi, May 4, 1995

• Summit 9, Male, May 14, 1997

• Summit 10, Colombo, July 31, 1998

• Summit 11, Kathmandu, January 6, 2002

• Summit 12, Islamabad, January 6, 2004

• Summit 13, Dhaka, 12-13 November 2005

• Summit 14, New Delhi, 3 - 4 April 2007

o Address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa
o Address by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
o 14th declaration

SAARC MOU’s, Conventions and Agreements



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Last modified: August 03, 2008.

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