Secretary-General South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Esala Ruwan Weerakoon on Sunday stressed the urgent need of strengthening regional cooperation among member states to usher in an era of prosperity, progress, development, and alleviation of the abject poverty in the region. Speaking at a reception hosted in his honor, he called upon the SAARC council of ministers to meet to address the procedural issues due to which SAARC and its apex allied bodies are greatly suffering and also take necessary measures to accelerate the economic and commercial growth among member states. He said that he will discuss the matter with the current chair of Nepal to resolve the issue on priority, said a press release. He emphasized the need for greater cooperation to foster greater regional economic integration in South Asia and all impediments hindering the smooth flow of economic growth be done away with forthwith with mutual consensus among member states. Welcoming the SAARC Secretary-General on his four-day maiden visit to Pakistan since assuming office in March 2020 veteran trade leader founder-chairman Pak-US Business Council and former President the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik on behalf of the Pakistani business community stressed the need for resolving the matter of recognition of apex and allied bodies to achieve the very objectives of SAARC which was conceived in 1985.