Follow through to consolidate SAARC relations
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday emphasized that the invite to leaders of SAARC countries to attend the swearing in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – led government in May last year "must be followed through to its logical conclusion with concrete steps to consolidate our relations."
Addressing the Ambassadors and High Commissioners who head India's Missions abroad, the President said "India demonstrated dynamism and bold leadership by inviting leaders of SAARC countries to attend the swearing-in of the new government in May last year.
"That initiative must be followed through to its logical conclusion through incisive diplomacy even as we remain firm in protecting our security and putting in place impregnable security mechanisms", Mukherjee said, according to an official statement.
The President said the one adage which never goes stale in international politics is 'You can choose your friend but not your neighbour'. "A strong message was conveyed to our neighbours that the region must decide whether to live in perpetual tension or understanding. Our initiatives in the neighbourhood must be followed up with concrete steps to consolidate and make permanent the advances we make in our relations."