Environment Not Conducive for Holding SAARC Summit: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka became the fifth country to do so in the eight-nation group after India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo, in a statement, said that the SAARC Charter requires that decisions at all levels are taken on the basis of unanimity. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

Sri Lanka, on Friday, expressed its unwillingness to attend the upcoming 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit in Islamabad, saying the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the summit.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo, in a statement, said that the SAARC Charter requires that decisions at all levels are 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.

Sri Lanka became the fifth country to do so in the eight-nation group.

Amid growing tensions between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on 28 September that India is skipping the SAARC summit.

Shortly after that, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan also decided to not be part of the summit.

Nepal, who chairs the summit, said it "has received communications" from four member-states — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India — in which they conveyed their inability to participate in the SAARC summit stating that the current regional environment is "not conducive" for the successful holding of the Summit.

Sri Lanka 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, the statement said.

(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot of the <a href="http://www.mfa.gov.lk/index.php/en/media/media-releases/6614-19saarc">statement</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot of the statement)

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