Tackling terrorism high on SAARC agenda
Agreement on anti-terror measures to be included in
COLOMBO: The SAARC Summit beginning in Colombo tomorrow will consider
a regional framework for cooperation in tackling terrorism with a legal
mechanism for effectively dealing with the menace, Foreign Minister
Rohitha Bogollagama said yesterday.
In this regard, he referred to the proposed agreement for SAARC
Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and said it would be
effective in dealing with crime in the region.
The formation would efficiently deal with terrorism in all its forms
The Minister briefing the media at the conclusion of the 30th session
of SAARC Council of Ministers said this was the first time in SAARC
history that such an agreement on terrorism was included in the main
He also added that the proposed Colombo Declaration which would be
forwarded for perusal at the main Summit attended by the leaders was
unanimously approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers.
The draft of the Colombo Declaration under the title “partnership for
the growth of our people” has placed high emphasis on the “human face”
of SAARC bearing in mind the Charter objective that the ultimate
beneficiaries of the process should be the people of the region,
According to the Minister, in addition to terrorism the Colombo
Declaration would give high priority to matters such as food security,
poverty alleviation, maximizing energy and water resources, action plan
on climate change, economic cooperation, regional transport, education,
health and a quality control mechanism for goods.
He also said that the leaders had realised the need to progress
towards the implementation phase in SAARC and during the coming year
with Sri Lanka at the helm it would launch an aggressive modus operandi
in this regard to realize SAARC goals. The SAARC Development Fund
Charter would definitely be incorporated during the Summit, the Minister
Also, the Ministers have agreed to continue to build solidly on the
economic cooperation initiated by SAFTA.
The Minister also added that the concluded 30th session of the SAARC
Council of Ministers which has laid ground for the main Summit was
conducted in an expeditious and in a constructive spirit which had
contributed to the operational effectiveness.
The main Summit attended by heads of Member States would take place
on Saturday and Sunday.