Following is the full text of the message:

“It gives me immense pleasure to convey my felicitations to all fellow South Asians on the occasion of 20th anniversary of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The Thirteenth SAARC Summit held recently in Dhaka was an outstanding success. It has created a positive perception of the organization, both within the region and beyond.

We are happy that several new initiatives are proposed to be implemented jointly on a region-wide basis, including in the sectors of health, education, agriculture, civil aviation and culture.

On the occasion of this anniversary, we need to re-dedicate ourselves to working towards achieving the further objectives of bringing together the people of the region, to promote understanding and cooperation and to share responsibility for the social and economic upliftment of the region. Our goal is the eventual establishment of a South Asian Economic Union, which will integrate our economies together in a partnership of peace and prosperity.

India is fully committed to the SAARC process and will continue to work with all SAARC member states for realizing the Charter goals and objectives.”

New Delhi
December 9, 2005