Dhaka, Jan 18 (Agencies): Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed is all set to become the first woman general secretary of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on March 1, 2011.

The SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu confirmed the same.

Bangladesh foreign ministry sources said Maldives had recommended Fathimath Dhiyana for the post during the 16th SAARC summit in Thimphu, Bhutan, last April.  The present chief, Indian diplomat Sheel Kant Sharma, completes his three year term on February 28. 

Fathimath, 36, is also a former attorney general of the island nation. 

The eight-nation regional forum rotates its secretary general among the member countries every three years.

It is the Maldives' turn to lead the organisation. 

The Maldives will host the 17th SAARC summit scheduled for Nov 10-11 in the South Province.  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the members of SAARC founded in 1985 in Dhaka. 

The regional bloc included its eighth member, Afghanistan, in 2007.