Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 01:56 AM IST

After India, Bangladesh and Bhutan also boycott SAARC Summit in Islamabad

Updated: Sep 28, 2016 09:20 IST

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Sept. 28 (ANI): After India, Bangladesh and Bhutan have also confirmed their inability to participate in the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, scheduled to take place in November in Islamabad.

While confirming about its non-participation, the Bangladesh Government sources said, "The growing interference in the internal affairs of Dhaka 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."

"Bangladesh, as the initiator of the SAARC process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere. In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad," the sources added.

Meanwhile, sources from the Bhutan Government said, "While reaffirming Bhutan's strong commitment to the SAARC process and strengthening of regional cooperation, it notes 'the concern of the Royal Government of Bhutan on the recent escalation of terrorism in the region, which has seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016."

"Further, 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," the source added.

India on Tuesday announced that it would not attend the summit conveying the current SAARC Chair Nepal that in the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit.

"India has conveyed to the current SAARC Chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by 'one country' have created an environment that is not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November," said Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Vikas Swarup in response to a question.

"Though India remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts, it believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror. In the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad," Swarup added.

"We also understand that some other SAARC Member States have also conveyed their reservation about attending the Islamabad Summit in November," he further said. (ANI)