Former Foreign Minister and joint opposition member, Professor G.L Peiris said the decision to boycott the summit throws doubts over Sri Lanka’s commitment towards SAARC and also has the potential to weaken it.
He also said Sri Lanka attaches great value to the friendship with countries which stood by Sri Lanka during the struggle against terrorism.
The Government last week said that the environment in the Pakistan region is not conducive to hold south Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, which was scheduled to take place in November.
The Foreign Ministry said the Government 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.
“The General Provisions of the SAARC Charter require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States as well,” the Foreign Ministry.
Sri Lanka noted that 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 the region’s peace and security will be taken to create an environment that is conducive for the pursuit of regional cooperation. (Colombo Gazette)