AMN / NEW YORK
INDIA’S External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reaffirmed her country’s commitment to regional cooperation. Addressing SAARC Foreign Minister on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly, Mrs Swaraj said, India believes that Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is as relevant to foreign policy as it is to domestic one.
She said, India has attached the highest priority to the development and prosperity of the region under its neighbourhood first policy.
The Minister said, several initiatives that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced for the region have already been implemented.
Ms Swaraj said, regional prosperity, connectivity and cooperation can take place only in an atmosphere of peace and security which remains at serious risk in the region.
She said, the number of threats and incidents that endanger South Asia’s peace and stability are on the rise. She said, it is necessary for SAARC region’s survival that all nations eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support.
She said, South Asia Satellite which was launched in May this yearwill touch the lives of the people of in the region.
She said, SAARC region is vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters and disaster risk reduction and response is a crucial aspect of the region’s development.
The External Affairs Minister said, regional cooperation can only be successful if it meets the expectations of the people. She said, with a significant percentage of the region’s population still under poverty, SAARC needs to deliver on its commitments.
She said, Connectivity is vital to achieve the goals of growth employment and prosperity.
She said, it is important to conclude SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement and SAARC Regional Railways Agreement at the earliest.