Kathmandu: President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, has pledged maximum support to accelerate the SAARC process.
The Sri Lankan President who arrived here to participate in the fourth BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) concluded here Friday visited the SAARC Headquarters today.
During his interactions with the SAARC Secretary- General and directors from all member states, the President called on the member states to work for achieving the SAARC goals and objectives by promoting the feeling of fraternity among them.
On the occasion, he insisted on the need of collective efforts among the member states to make the SAARC mechanism more effective and dynamic. He also planted a Bodhi tree in the premises of the Secretariat.
During his visit to the SAARC Headquarters, in his remarks on the Visitors’ Book, the President stated, ” Sri Lanka strongly supports the regional cooperation and integration in order to promote the well-being of the peoples of South Asia; to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural interaction in the region; and for promoting and strengthening collective voice of the countries of South Asia.” He expressed his happiness over the visit to the SAARC Secretariat and commended the Secretary General and his team for their endeavours.
Earlier, delivering his welcome remarks, Secretary- General of SAARC Amjad Hussain B Sial said that a visit was a testimony to the importance that the President personally and the esteemed Government of Sri Lanka attached to the SAARC process and it would remain as a source of inspiration and encouragement to the Secretariat to work more diligently in the service of the member states.
He further added that as a founding member of SAARC, Sri Lanka had been playing a very constructive role in its evolution since its inception in 1985. “As the host of three SAARC Summits and the three-time chair of SAARC, Sri Lanka has contributed enormously in enriching the SAARC process.” The Secretary General also expressed the hope that the member countries would agree soon on holding the 19th SAARC Summit.
Also, he expressed his gratitude to the Government of Sri Lanka and its citizens for its continuous help in making SAARC effective and result-oriented pointing to 17 acres of land and USD 10 million provided by the government in establishing SAARC Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka.
He extended his thanks to Nepal, the SAARC current chair, and other member countries for their continuous support and assistances, while wishing for happiness, good health and prosperity of President Sirisena. RSS