"This is what we call leadership": SAARC nations, including Pak, endorse Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal to chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus Pandemic
   14-Mar-2020

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Leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations today endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal to chalk out a joint strategy to combat the coronavirus outbreak, promising their complete support towards the collective effort against the pandemic.
Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering said it is what we call leadership. He said, he has no doubt that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership the region will see the immediate and impactful outcomes. He said, as members of this region, nations must come together in such times. Mr Tshering said, smaller economies are hit harder, so SAARC nations must coordinate. Replying to Mr Modi in a tweet, he said, with Mr Modi's leadership, he has no doubt the nations will see the immediate and impactful outcomes. He said, he is looking forward to the video conference.
 
Pakistan said on Friday that it will participate in Prime Minister Modi’s proposed video conference of SAARC member nations.
 
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza will be part of the video conference. “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 in a tweet.
 
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that his country is ready to join the discussion and share its learnings and best practices to combat the outbreak. He called upon leaders to unite in solidarity during these trying times and keep our citizens safe.
Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli welcomed the idea advanced by Mr Modi, for chalking out a strong strategy by the leadership of the SAARC nations to fight Coronavirus. Mr Oli said, his government is ready to work closely with the SAARC Member States to protect the citizens from this deadly disease.
Responding to the proposal, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked Mr Modi for taking the initiative on this important endeavor. He said, Covid-19 requires a collective effort to defeat it. Welcoming the proposal, Mr Solih said, the Maldives will fully support such a regional effort.
 
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had called for SAARC nations to chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus. He further suggested that these strategies could be discussed, via video conferencing and by coming together SAARC nations can set an example to the world and contribute to a healthier planet.
 
In a series of tweets, PM said that South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population should leave no stone unturned to ensure the health of its people. He also said that the Government is trying its best at various levels to combat COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.