9:57 AM

Sri Lanka invites Indian PM for SARC Summit in Colombo

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama will arrive today to New Delhi to extend the formal invitation to Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India to attend the 15th SAARC Summit in August to be held in Colombo. The next meeting of the Heads of State and government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is scheduled to be held from 2 – 3 August, in Sri Lanka.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) with almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states was established on December 8, 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. In April 2007, at the Association's 14th summit in India, Afghanistan became its eighth member. SAARC provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. It aims to accelerate the process of economic and social development in member states.
As the SARC summit is to be held in Colombo, it is a customary practice to deliver invitations in person to all Heads of Government. As India is the current Chair, the first invitation will be delivered to the Indian Prime Minister. During this visit Minister is expected to have bilateral talks with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Pranab Mukherjee.
According to news reports, Indian External Affairs Minister Mukherjee will host a "working lunch" for Bogollogama at the Hyderabad House on Monday. The two leaders will have a detailed discussion on the Sri Lanka situation as well as areas of bilateral cooperation.