Sri Lankan President thanks PM Modi for SAARC conference; promises Colombo’s support to combat COVID-19


Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conducting the “fruitful and constructive” video conference with leaders of the SAARC nations, and promised his country’s “fullest support” to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“I thank PM @narendramodi for his initiative to combat #COVID19 with cooperation among #SAARCNations.The discussion was fruitful and constructive with many great ideas being shared and initiated. #LKA will extend the fullest support and thank the member nations for their solidarity,” Rajapaksa tweeted.

Participants from all eight SAARC nations — India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Bhutan — held a video conference to exchange their views and share experiences in fighting the pandemic that has killed more than 6000 people globally.

The conference witnessed Prime Minister Modi proposing the creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund based on voluntary contributions from all the countries, with India making an initial offer of USD 10 million for the fund.

During the conference, Rajapaksa had recommended that SAARC leaders work together to help the economy tide over the difficult period.

“He (Rajapaksa) also recommended the establishment of a SAARC ministerial-level group to share best practises and coordinate regional matters on combating COVID-19,” as per a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.