The Bihar Post

After India, three more countries pull out of SAARC summit in Islamabad

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New Delhi: Three more countries have pulled out of regional SAARC summit shortly after India announced it would not be attending the meet to be held in Islamabad, media reports said today.

Local media today reported that Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan too have announced not to attend SAARC summit to be held in November.

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India has already declared that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Islamabad as the situation caused by cross-border terrorism is “not conducive” for talks.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has eight member countries and its summit cannot take place even if one of the members is not present.

According to NDTV, Bangladesh has communicated its inability to attend the summit saying, “The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”

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Bhutan too said the recent escalation of terrorism in the region has “seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding” of the SAARC summit in Islamabad.

“The Royal Government of Bhutan shares the concerns of some of the member countries of SAARC on the deterioration of regional peace and security due to terrorism and joins them in conveying our inability to participate in the SAARC Summit, under the current circumstances,” it said.

In a statement Afghanistan said, “Due to the increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, the President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the Summit.”

India has said “cross-border terror attacks” have created an environment that is “not conducive” for the meeting.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted, “Regional cooperation and terror don’t go together. India pulls out of SAARC Summit in Islamabad.”

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