Sri Lanka pulls out of Saarc summit
Sri Lanka today joined with Bangladesh, India, Bhutan and Afghanistan to pull out of the 19th Saarc Summit in Islamabad citing reasons that Pakistan's environment is "not conductive".
The country's foreign affairs ministry, in a statement, said "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."
"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," the statement said.
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 added.
Earlier, on September 27 India conveyed to current Saarc Chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attackls in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by one country have created an environment that is not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th Saarc Summit in Islamabad.
Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also gave reasons more or less identical – that Pakistanis interfering in the internal affairs of the co-members of the SAARC and promoting terrorism in the region in violation of the Saarc charter.