South Asian leaders gather at regional summit, stressing peace, cooperation and energy sharing

South Asian leaders, including from rivals India and Pakistan, have gathered in Nepal's capital to boost cooperation in trade and energy and seek greater peace in the region, home to more than a fifth of the world's population.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit is the first since 2011. It is supposed to be held annually, but is often shelved due to member nations disagreeing on dates, and the rivalry between India and Pakistan.

Leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are expected to meet as a group and also hold bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the two-day summit, which ends Thursday.

The prime ministers of Pakistan and India may meet on the sidelines, but no official announcement has been made.