India Abroad

Meetings Only Effective If Resolves Translate To Concrete Action: Sushma Swaraj At SAARC

| September 28 , 2018 , 12:41 IST

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday at a meeting of SAARC ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly said that the threat of terrorism in South Asia is on the rise and that meetings are only effective if resolves translate to concrete action.

"The number of threats and incidents that endanger South Asia are on the rise. Terrorism remains the single-largest threat to peace and stability in our region, and indeed in the world. It is necessary that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support," Swaraj said while addressing foreign ministers of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations.

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"I would like to stress that meetings, including high-level ones, can only be effective if expressions of resolve are translated in to concrete action on the ground," the minister said.

The statements from EAM Sushma Swaraj came as India cancelled a meeting requested by Pakistan between foreign ministers of the two nations on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly after the killing of a soldier and 3 policemen in Jammu and Kashmir.

After Sushma Swaraj left the venue before a statement from Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he blamed India as a 'stumbling block' in the progress of SAARC.

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"In the progress of SAARC only one country's behaviour is the stumbling block. When it comes to any positive gesture from India's side, all I can say is that she left the meeting midway, maybe she wasn't feeling well," said Qureshi.

Sources later said that Swaraj was not the first one to leave the meeting early.

"It should be noted that she was neither the first one nor the only one who left the meeting. Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Bangladesh left the meeting before India's External Affairs Minister. Also, leaving a meeting after delivering own speech is a standard practice in the multilateral engagements. (The minister) left the meeting after delivering her speech as she had another meeting lined up with Indian community groups and other bilateral engagements," sources quoted by ANI said.