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US diplomat: Glad to see increasing SAARC cooperation to combat COVID-19

News Agencies | Updated on: 25 April 2020, 7:57 IST
SAARC cooperation to combat COVID-19

Senior US diplomat Alice Wells on Friday (local time) said that the United States is pleased to see increasing cooperation among the SAARC countries in the fight against coronavirus pandemic.

"COVID-19 knows no borders and combating it will require regional cooperation among South Asian neighbours. Pleased to see increasing SAARC cooperation, including the India-proposed March 15 heads of state call and the Pakistan-led April 23 video conference with health officials," Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA), quoting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) Alice Wells, tweeted.

SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, comprises eight countries -- India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan on Thursday called a meeting of SAARC countries on COVID-19, claiming it to be a ministerial conference, but later it turned out that only official-level dignitaries participated at the forum.

On March 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with SAARC leaders where he initiated a COVID-19 emergency fund for the regional bloc with an initial offer of USD 10 million for the fund.

All other SAARC nations had promptly donated to the COVID-19 emergency fund except Pakistan, which was the last among the eight members of the bloc to contribute to COVID-19 emergency fund. Islamabad pledged USD 3 million to the fund.


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First published: 25 April 2020, 7:57 IST