OTHERS

Chandrika's good wishes for Agra summit

COLOMBO, JULY 6. The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, today expressed confidence that the coming Vajpayee- Musharaff summit would give a fresh lease of life to SAARC and hoped that it would contribute to the stability and security of the region.

The SAARC summit has not been held for two years due to differences between India and Pakistan. The last summit was held here in 1998 and Sri Lanka has held the chair of the regional grouping since then.

In a message of good wishes to the leaders of the two countries, Ms. Kumaratunga said the people of south Asia welcomed the resumption of high-level dialogue between India and Pakistan as ``a positive step'' for relations between the two countries.

``As the current chairperson of SAARC, I am confident that the summit will also give fresh impetus to regional co- operation under the SAARC framework, which will be of immense benefit to all the countries and people of the region,'' said Ms. Kumaratunga.

Sri Lanka, which enjoyed good relations with both India and Pakistan, was ``particularly happy'' that the two leaders were to meet, she said.