Bhutan pulls out of SAARC meet

An official press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Bhutan will be pulling out of the SAARC summit in Pakistan.

This would make Bhutan the fourth country after India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to pull out of the summit over increased tensions in the region especially after a recent militant attack on an Indian army outpost that killed 19 soldiers.

The statement said, “The Royal Government of Bhutan has expressed its concerns to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, as the current Chair of SAARC, that the deteriorating security situation in the region has created an environment which is not conducive for the successful holding of the 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”

It goes on to say, “Therefore the Royal Government has joined some of the member states in expressing its inability to participate in the SAARC Summit given the current situation.”

It concludes by saying, “As one of the founding members of SAARC, the Royal Government of Bhutan is strongly committed to the SAARC process and strengthening of regional cooperation and is hopeful that the situation would return to normalcy to enable early and successful convening of the 19th SAARC summit.”

This release follows the foreign ministry’s release on 19th September condemning the Uri attacks.

The then release said that Bhutan is deeply concerned by the despicable terrorist attack on Uri army base in Kashmir, India on 18th September, 2016.

It says, “In this hour of distress, the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan express their solidarity with the people and the Government of India.”

The Bhutan government also extended its prayers and sympathies to the families of those who have loved their lost ones.

It says, “Bhutan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and stand with India in the fight against terrorism. Such heinous acts of terrorism calls for the need to step-up international cooperation to combat the scourge of terrorism that poses severe threat to the peace and stability of all countries.”

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