The Financial Express

India for regional connectivity: VK Singh

Published: December 23, 2017 15:07:09 | Updated: December 24, 2017 11:28:46

Photo: Collected Photo: Collected

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (retd) Dr Vijay Kumar Singh said India is steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and economic integration.

India believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror.

Dr Vijay Kumar Singh said this at the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament, while replying a query over 'restoration of Saarc Summit' on Thursday.

The 19th Saarc Summit scheduled in November 2016 in Islamabad was postponed following communications from India, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh to Nepal conveying their inability to participate.

India conveyed that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by one country had created an environment that was not conducive to the successful holding of the Summit and that in the prevailing circumstances the government of India was unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad.

Since postponement of the Summit, the 53rd and 54th sessions of the Saarc Programming Committee were held in Kathmandu on February1-2 and December 12-13 this year at official level, Singh said in reply to an unstarred question, reports UNB.

He said an informal session of Saarc Council of Ministers was held on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21 in New York, according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

The Indian External Affairs Minister attended the meeting.

Singh said India also participated in other official and technical level meetings of Saarc, including the 8th Meeting of Saarc Ministers of Home/Interior in Colombo and the 6th Meeting of Saarc Ministers of Health in July this year in Colombo.

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