PM Modi to lead SAARC video conference on COVID-19 on Sunday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead India at a video conference with the SAARC member countries at 5 pm on Sunday to decide a common strategy to tackle coronavirus outbreak in the south Asian region. The announcement was made by Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson, on Saturday evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead India at a video conference with the SAARC member countries at 5 pm on Sunday (March 15) to decide a common strategy to tackle coronavirus outbreak in the south Asian region.
The announcement was made by Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, ministry of external affairs, on Saturday evening.
Coming together for common good!
15 March, 1700 IST
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) March 14, 2020
“Coming together for common good! 15 March, 1700 IST. PM @narendramodi will lead India at the video conference of all SAARC member countries, to chalk out a strong common strategy to fight COVID-19 in the region,” tweeted Kumar.
Modi had on Friday proposed formulation of a joint strategy by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations to fight coronavirus, a suggestion that was backed by all the member states.
Calling on the SAARC nations to set an example for the world, Modi had reached out to the eight-member regional grouping and pitched for a video conference among its leaders to chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus, which has killed nearly 5,000 people globally.
This is what we call leadership. As members of this region, we must come together in such times. Smaller economies are hit harder, so we must coordinate. With your leadership, I have no doubt we will see immediate and impactful outcome. Looking forward to the video conference. https://t.co/2RnokAJQOs
— PM Bhutan (@PMBhutan) March 13, 2020
His appeal got a prompt response from Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Afghan government, all of whom welcomed the proposal.
Pakistan’s response to the proposal came late in the night with the country’s Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui saying the threat of COVID-19 required coordinated efforts at global and regional levels.
The threat of #COVID-19 requires coordinated efforts at global and regional level. We have communicated that SAPM on Health will be available to participate in the video conference of #SAARC member countries on the issue.
— Spokesperson ?? MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) March 13, 2020
“We have communicated that SAPM (Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister) on Health (Zafar Mirza) will be available to participate in the video conference of SAARC member countries on the issue,” she said.
SAARC is a regional inter-governmental organisation of eight south Asian countries — India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bhutan, and Nepal.
(With inputs from agencies)