He said the moment one country says that they are unable to attend a SAARC Summit, a summit cannot be held.
Samaraweera said that as a country that is committed to regional cooperation, and as a country that clearly perceives the benefits of regional cooperation for the people of Sri Lanka and the wider South Asian region, Sri Lanka stands ready to participate in the 19th SAARC Summit whenever it is being held.
Sri Lanka also called on South Asia to unite in its resolve to eliminate terrorism in the region.
Samararaweera told parliament that terrorism is an issue that must unite the South Asian region and not divide the region.
“It is a menace that has taken a heavy toll on the economic and social fabric of almost all our countries. Terrorism poses an existential threat to the civilized world, and it must be defeated. Sri Lanka has always been firm in denouncing terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of where it occurs, and Sri Lanka supports decisive action in dealing with terrorism,” he said.
Several countries including Sri Lanka decided not to attend a regional summit in Pakistan next month, known as the SAARC summit, owing to terrorist threats in the area.
“All the leaders of South Asia must unite and take a firm stand and decisive action to eliminate terrorism which stands as an obstacle to the achievement of the goals that we envision for our region. The people of this region of South Asia deserve better living standards, better infrastructure, better education, peace, prosperity, security, and friendship; and we must not fail them,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)