India will not participate in SAARC summit in Islamabad: MEA


21 Jun 2013
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Stepping up its diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan globally following the Uri terror attack, India on Tuesday said that it would not take part in the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad in November.

"In the prevailing circumstances, the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed SAARC summit in Islamabad ," ministry of external affairs(MEA) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We also understand that some other SAARC states have also conveyed their reservation about attending the summit in November 2016," the MEA said.

India's decision to not attend the SAARC summit also rules out PM Narendra Modi 's visit to Islamabad in November for the same.

Pakistan has termed India's decision to not attend the SAARC summit as "unfortunate". However, Pakistan said that it has not received any official confirmation from India on its decision to not attend SAARC summit.

The MEA also said that India has conveyed to current SAARC chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in internal affairs of member states by one country have created an environment that is not conducive to successful holding of summit in Islamabad.

India said that it is committed to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror.

Vikas Swarup
Regional cooperation and terror don't go together. India pulls out of SAARC Summit in Islamabad

Afghanistan has already voiced its interest in boycotting the SAARC meet.

On September 20, Afghanistan ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali had said: "I am sure most South Asian countries are in line with what we think. Therefore, the effort should be comprehensive and we should single out a country that spoils our unity and regional peace."

"We have to draw a line between a country that sponsors terrorism and a country that is an ally in the war against terrorism. This difference must be made and should be made immediately," the Afghan envoy added.

According to sources, apart from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan are the other countries which have said no to attending the SAARC summit.

The 19th SAARC summit is scheduled to be held in Pakistan's capital Islamabad from November 9 to 10, 2016.

India will not participate in SAARC summit in Islamabad: MEA - Times of India
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