The Indian diplomatic campaign to isolate Pakistan, in the aftermath of Uri terror attack, has gained another supporter, with Sri Lanka announcing its decision to pull out of SAARC summit scheduled in Islamabad later this year.
Sri Lanka became the fourth country following Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan in confirming its unwillingness to participate in the summit.
Notable excerpts from the official statement sent to SAARC chair Nepal today (30 September) by Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Ministry:
Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on November 9 and 10, 2016...
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…
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…
It is important to note that Colombo’s decision came just days ahead of its Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to India from 4 to 6 October. With five members refusing to take part, it seems likely that the summit will definitely be postponed, if not called off.
With inputs from IANS.
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