KATHMANDU, October 2 (Nepal Foreign Affairs)–Nepal, on Sunday, said that a conducive regional environment is essential for holding the 19th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
“Nepal regrets that regional environment is not conducive to host the 19th SAARC Summit scheduled for 9 and 10 November 2016 in Islamabad,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal said in a press statement.
Foreign Ministry statement has come two days after host nation of the 19th SAARC Summit Pakistan announced the postponement of the summit amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.
Last week, the SAARC member-states Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India decided boycotting the regional summit amid mounting tensions between India and Pakistan following an attack on Sept. 18 against an Indian army camp in Uri in India controlled Kashmir.
As the current Chair of the SAARC, Nepal has said that it underscores the need for creating a conducive regional environment for the SAARC Summit. According to the SAARC Charter, the summit cannot be held even if only one member refuses to participate in.
“Nepal will initiate necessary consultation on successfully holding the 19th Summit with the participation of all member states,” the statement said “Nepal strongly believes that an environment of peace and stability is essential for a meaningful regional cooperation.”
To achieve peace and stability in the region, SAARC member states must, among others, ensure that their respective territories are not used by terrorists for cross border terrorism, the statement said.
“Nepal unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and expresses its solidarity in the global fight against terrorism. Nepal has always condemned all acts of terrorism in our own region,” the statement added.
Nepal also condemned the terrorist attack on Indian army base in Uri of India-controlled Kashmir on 18 September.
The SAARC is a regional body founded in 1985 in South Asia comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.