New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): An agenda at the informal meeting of SAARC Foreign Ministers on Thursday was holding the 19th summit of the grouping, which was to be hosted by Pakistan, but the proposal fell through due to lack of consensus as most countries felt it wasn't an opportune time for the event due to member states being preoccupied in dealing with COVID-19, sources said.
"One agenda item in the SAARC Ministerial meeting was the 19th SAARC Summit, which was to be hosted by Pakistan. Most countries felt it wasn't an opportune time for the event as member states are preoccupied with dealing with COVID-19. So the proposal fell through due to a lack of consensus," a source said.
Earlier today, India took up the issue of cross-border terrorism at the informal meeting of SAARC Foreign Ministers which happened virtually on the sidelines of UNGA this year.
After the meeting, the Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar tweeted, "Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region".
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Jaishankar stated at the meeting that over the last 35 years, SAARC has made significant progress but efforts toward collective collaboration and prosperity have been hampered by acts of terrorism.
EAM said it was crucial to take a collective resolve to defeat the scourge of terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage it.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also took part in the meet.
"Highlighted need to condemn and oppose unilateral/illegal measures to change the status of disputed territories in violation of UNSC resolutions. Such unilateral measures run counter to the shared objective of (the) SAARC to create regional amity and cooperation and must be opposed resolutely," he said in a tweet.
Qureshi also emphasized on hosting the 19th SAARC meet in Islamabad.
"In this same spirit, I restated Pakistan's willingness to host the 19th SAARC Summit and for obstacles created in its way to being removed for SAARC to function as an effective instrument of regional cooperation," he said. (ANI)