In the wake of the current hostile situation between India and Pakistan, Sri Lanka on Friday pulled out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit. It has become the fifth country to do so.
The environment is not conducive to hold the 19th summit in Islamabad on November 9 and 10, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Sri Lanka withdrew from the summit citing unanimity according to the Charter, which includes convening meetings among heads of state or government of SAARC member states.
"Peace and security are essential elements for the success of meaningful regional cooperation for the benefit of the people of South Asia," the statement said.
Sri Lanka also indicated that it expects India and Pakistan to restore peace in the region.
Sri Lanka condemned "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" and added that terrorism in the region needs to be dealt in a "decisive manner."
Full Text of Sri Lanka's statement:
Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on 9th and 10th November 2016.
The General Provisions of the SAARC Charter require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States as well.
Peace and security are essential elements for the success of meaningful regional cooperation for the benefit of the people of South Asia. As a founding member of SAARC, committed to regional cooperation, Sri Lanka hopes that the steps required to ensuring our region's peace and security will be taken to create an environment that is conducive for the pursuit of regional cooperation.
Sri Lanka condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stresses in this regard, the need to deal with the issue of terrorism in the region in a decisive manner.