Sri Lanka too pulls out of the SAARC summit

Sri Lanka became the fifth member country which is unwilling to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad

GN Bureau | September 30, 2016


#Sri Lanka   #SAARC summit   #India   #Pakistan   #Uri attack   #terror   #Afghanistan   #Islamabad  

India’s diplomatic heft in South Asia became clear when Sri Lanka too decided not to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad.

 
With this, five members of the eight-member South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have pulled out of the summit.
 
Sri Lanka's unwillingness to attend comes three days after India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan wrote to Nepal, which is the current chair of SAARC, conveying they are pulling out of the summit. They cited rising terrorism in the region.
 
In an official statement, Sri Lanka said that it “regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on 9th and 10th November 2016.”
 
It said that the general provisions of the SAARC charter “require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of heads of state or government of SAARC member states as well.
 
“Peace and security are essential elements for the success of meaningful regional cooperation for the benefit of the people of South Asia. As a founding member of SAARC, committed to regional cooperation, Sri Lanka hopes that the steps required to ensuring our region’s peace and security will be taken to create an environment that is conducive for the pursuit of regional cooperation.”
 
Colombo said that it condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stresses in this regard, the need to deal with the issue of terrorism in the region in a decisive manner.
 

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