Peace, security in S Asia essential for progress: Swaraj at SAARC

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New York: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj emphasised to SAARC countries that an environment of peace and security in South Asia is essential for cooperation and economic development.

Swaraj’s statement on Thursday came at a meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

The SAARC grouping includes India, Pakistan and six other regional countries. It was established in December 1985 with an aim to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia.

“An environment of peace and security is essential for regional cooperation to progress and achieve economic development and prosperity of our people,” Swaraj said at the SAARC Ministers Meeting.

She said the number of incidents endangering South Asia are on the rise and terrorism remains the single-largest threat to peace and stability in the geopolitical region, and 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,” she said according to sources.

Swaraj left the SAARC meeting early.