NEW DELHI: Leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations on Friday 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.
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.
"Thank you for the great initiative Shri @narendramodi - #LKA is ready to join the discussion & share our learnings & best practices and to learn from other #SAARC members. Let's unite in solidarity during these trying times and keep our citizens safe," he tweeted in response to PM Modi's call to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 13, 2020
We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy.
Together, we can set an example to the world, and contribute to a healthier planet.
Modi on Friday had proposed that the leaders of the SAARC countries should chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus.
"I would like to propose that the leadership of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy," PM Modi had tweeted.
Within hours, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said he has no doubt that under PM Modi's leadership the region would see the immediate and impactful outcomes.
"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," Tshering tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi had also said that SAARC countries can set an example to the world, and contribute to a healthier planet.
"Our planet is battling the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it," PM Modi said in another tweet.
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also came forward in response to Modi's proposal.
"Thank you PM @narendramodi for taking the initiative on this important endeavor. Covid 19 requires a collective effort to defeat it. Maldives welcomes this proposal and would fully support such a regional effort," he wrote on the micro-blogging site.
PM Modi asserted that South Asia should fight against the virus to ensure people's safety.
"South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population should leave no stone unturned to ensure our people are healthy," he added.