ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will participate in the two-day SAARC Summit scheduled to start in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 26.

The theme of the Summit is “Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity”.

The Foreign Office spokesperson, in a statement here Sunday, said Pakistan attached high importance to SAARC and was committed to its process. Pakistan firmly believed that given the resources, SAARC region had the potential to become the engine for global economic growth for the 21st Century.

The Summit will be preceded by the preparatory meetings at the senior officials and ministerial level. The Foreign Secretary is presently in Kathmandu to represent Pakistan in the SAARC Standing Committee Meeting, followed by the SAARC Council of Ministers Meeting on November 25, which will be attended by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

On the sidelines of the event, the Prime Minister will meet other leaders of SAARC countries to discuss issues of bilateral and regional interest.

Monitoring Desk adds: India has not officially ruled out a formal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Kathmandu on the sidelines of the SAARC summit this week, reported India’s NDTV.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Sunday said in New Delhi that Pakistan has not requested for a meeting, but the two leaders will be in the same room for two days. Sources said they are bound to speak even if it is not a structured dialogue.

Modi will be in Nepal on November 26 and 27. His meetings are still being drawn up, but he wants a “meaningful dialogue with those he does meet and that all aspects of a relationship will be taken into account,” Akbaruddin said.

Akbaruddin said India is for “cooperative and peaceful ties” with Pakistan, the framework of which had been agreed to as part of Shimla agreement and Lahore Declaration.

“Our view is that there is a simple two-way street to promote peaceful ties and that is through meaningful, bilateral dialogue. Any deviation from this will not lead us to a common destination,” he said.