Monday, October 10, 2016

Foreign Minister explains G'ments position on SAARC postponement

Image result for mangala samaraweeraForeign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today clarified in Parliament the government's  position with  regards to the 19th SAARC Summit that was to be held in Islamabad on the 9th and 10th of November 2016, which was subsequently postponed.

The Minister, in a special statement to the House, said that some concerns were expressed regarding the statement issued by the Government in relation to the postponement of the SAARC Summit saying that the Government did not at any point pull out of the Summit.

“The General Provisions of the Charter of SAARC prescribes that “decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity”. Therefore, the moment one country says that they are unable to attend a SAARC Summit, a Summit cannot be held. There was, therefore, no question of Sri Lanka pulling out of SAARC, or Sri Lanka saying that we will not attend the Summit as there was no Summit to attend,” the Minister said.

He added that Sri Lanka issued a statement after several countries had informed the current Chair of SAARC, Nepal, formally, that they are unable to attend the Summit, and after the Chair, that is Nepal, issued a Statement as well.

“In our statement, we expressed regret that the prevailing environment in the region, with several countries having stated their inability to attend the Summit, is not conducive for holding the Summit on the 9th and 10th of November, and we expressed hope 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,” he said.

The Minister said the country is committed to regional cooperation and stand ready to participate in the 19th SAARC Summit whenever it is being held.

“It is my solemn hope that this would be the moment that all the leaders in our region resolve to forget past failures, break with the past, and unite in good faith and in sincerity to work together for the greater good and greater benefit of the people of our region,” he said.

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