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19th Saarc Summit ‘postponed’ after 4 nations pull out

2016-09-28 15:52:45
19th Saarc Summit ‘postponed’ after 4 nations pull out

Thereport24.com Desk:

The 19th Saarc Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November has been postponed after India on Tuesday announced its inability to take part in it “in the prevailing circumstances”, reports the Kathmandu Post.

Apart from India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan have also pulled out of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November, saying the environment is not right for the successful holding of the meet, The Hindu reports.

The decision was conveyed by Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan on Wednesday to the SAARC chair Nepal, sources said.

“The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment, which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016,” the communication by Bangladesh said.

“Bangladesh, as the initiator of the SAARC process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere. In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad,” it said.

In a message to SAARC chair Nepal on Tuesday, sources quoted Kabul as saying, “Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the summit.”

Bhutan said that while it is committed to the SAARC process and strengthening of regional cooperation, it is concerned over the “recent escalation of terrorism in the region, which has seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”

“Further, the Royal Government of Bhutan shares the concerns of some of the member countries of SAARC on the deterioration of regional peace and security due to terrorism and joins them in conveying our inability to participate in the SAARC Summit, under the current circumstances.”

The decision of the four countries of the eight-member grouping not to attend the summit would lead to its collapse. The other members are Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night decided not to attend the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November.

Ends/thereport24.com/HB/Sept 28, 2016

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