Sri Lanka pulls out of SAARC; Pakistan suspends summit

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka said it will not participate in a heads of state meeting of the South Asia Association of Regional Co-operation in the wake of India, Nepal and Bhutan and Pakistan announced its indefinitely postponed.

"Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive," for the summit meeting as decisions are usually taken unanimously including on summit meetings, the island’s foreign ministry said.

India pulled out of the summit meeting scheduled for November 19, blaming Pakistan for a terrorist strike as tensions rose in the divided Kashmir area.

"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 foreign ministry said.

"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."

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