KATHMANDU, Nov 19: Newly-elected President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa has pledged to foster peaceful co-existence and economic progress within the SAARC region.
In his tweet reply to PM KP Sharma Oli, Rajapaksa indicated that he will work with Nepal to revive the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) which has remained dormant for a couple of years, largely due to India's reluctance.
The fate of SAARC is hanging in the balance due to the hostile relationship between India and Pakistan. The 19th SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in November 2016 in Pakistan got canceled after India boycotted the summit citing lack of good environment for the same.
India accused Pakistan of harboring cross-border terrorism while Pakistan vehemently denied the charge. Nepal is the present chair of the eight-member regional block.
Earlier on Sunday, PM Oli took to Twitter to congratulate Rajapaksa on being elected as the head of the state of the island nation.
While thanking Oli for extending wishes, Rajapaksa said that Nepal holds a special place in Sri Lanka's hearts, being the birthplace of Lord Buddha. He said that he is looking forward to an early opportunity to meet.