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Elimination of terrorism precondition for survival of our region: Jaishankar following SAARC meeting


The elimination of terrorism in all its forms is a precondition not only for fruitful cooperation but also for the very survival of our region itself, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday following the high octane drama at the SAARC meeting here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
Indulging in behaviour less heard of on international platforms, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held up the meeting on Thursday, refusing to attend the EAM's statement.
Responding to the situation, after delivering his statement to the gathered representatives, Jaishankar left the meeting, soon after which Mehmood showed up to the conference at least half an hour late.
Jaishankar reiterated India's stand against terrorism following the incident and also highlighted India's contributions to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
"The example of South Asian Satellite shows how India has been taking up the initiatives that bear prosperity to the neighbourhood. South Asian satellite was launched in 2017 with an intention to arrive at scientific solutions to address poverty in the #SAARC region," he tweeted.
"South Asian University- also an example of India building academic excellence that will have a generational impact. The 1174 students graduated contribute immensely to the development of respective member states. We're committed to giving 100% capital cost towards the construction of SAU," the EAM added.
"Regionalism has taken root in every corner of the world," he said. Jaishankar also outlined that if the grouping has lagged behind, "it is because South Asia does not have normal trade and connectivity that other regions do."
"It is unfortunate that we have not made any headway with respect to some connectivity initiatives such as Motor Vehicles and Railways Agreements. Similarly, there has been no progress in the SAARC Regional Air Services Agreement, initiated by India," he highlighted.
"There are other success stories of last year: extension of National Knowledge Network to our SAARC partner countries. NKN extension has been completely implemented in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. NKN extension to Bhutan was inaugurated by PM @narendramodi in August," the EAM said.
Terrorism is among the "deliberate" obstacles being faced in the region, he added.
"Ours is really not just a story of missed opportunities but also of deliberate obstacles. Terrorism is among them. In our view, elimination of terrorism in all its forms is a precondition not only for fruitful cooperation but also for the very survival of our region itself," Jaishankar said.
The regional organisation consists of eight members including India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 1:33 AM IST

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