As Sri Lanka pulled out of the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, scheduled to take place in November, the Congress on Saturday asserted that the entire diplomatic body is united against Pakistan. Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi told media that there can be lot of disagreements on SAARC issue, but on terrorism they are united.
“I think it’s good that these things are now sorted out. The message is unequivocal, unambiguous and clear namely that the entire SAARC is united. We can have lot of disagreements on SAARC issues, but on terrorism we are one. You will not be allowed to export terrorism and you cannot be a good neighbour in a SAARC context while still exporting terrorism,” he added.
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Sri Lanka is the fifth country after India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan to pull out of the summit. In an official communication, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry told SAARC chair Nepal, “Sri Lanka 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.”
The statement said that 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 SAARC summit cannot take place even if one of the eight members withdraws. India on Tuesday announced that it would not attend the summit conveying the current SAARC Chair Nepal that in the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit.