Colombo: Sri Lanka remains firmly committed to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter and its objectives and attributes high importance to its purposes and principles which aims to promote peace, stability, amity, and progress in the region, country's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Sunday.
In his message on the occasion of the SAARC Charter Day, as cited by Colombo Page, Rajapaksa called on the member nations to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of "our cooperative mechanisms, particularly on areas which are priorities to the people of our region."
SAARC is a regional intergovernmental organisation and geopolitical union of states in South Asia, including, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives.
Rajapaksa said that the region as a whole requires to forge new avenues of cooperation to steer the Organization to be more effective in addressing the emerging challenges.
"The Member States of SAARC are better positioned to provide the necessary safety networks to address major concerns such as security through forming effective alliances. The Region as a whole requires to forge new avenues of cooperation to steer the Organization to be more effective in addressing the emerging challenges," Rajapaksa said.
"I take this opportunity to reiterate Sri Lanka's firm commitment to SAARC and its objectives and remain confident of the determination of the governments and peoples of our region towards fostering stronger cooperation that is essential for peace, stability and economic prosperity in our region," he added.
In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that efforts for greater collaboration among SAARC member states have been repeatedly challenged with threats and acts of terror and such an environment impedes the shared objective of realising the regional body's full potential.
"SAARC has made progress, but more needs to be done. Our efforts for greater collaboration have repeatedly been challenged with threats and acts of terrorism. Such an environment impedes our shared objective of realising the full potential of SAARC," Prime Minister Modi said in a letter addressed to the SAARC Secretariat.