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External Affairs Minister Meets Sri Lankan Ambassadors in the Gulf

A regional workshop for Sri Lanka Missions in Middle Eastern countries was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, 7th June 2014.

Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, explained that the purpose of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for intense interaction with Heads of Mission in these countries on objectives and priorities with regard to their work. The Minister referred to the importance of the region to Sri Lanka in terms of international collaboration and economic issues including trade, investment, employment opportunities and tourism. He said that, with Sri Lanka’s rapidly growing relationship with these countries in each of these fields, it is crucial to define targets with time frames and to have continuing assessment of progress. Minister Peiris set out what the government expected from its Embassies in each of these countries within the next year and appropriate modalities to achieve these goals.

Mr. Namal Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament, participated in the roundtable discussion with the envoys.

Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya, Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. A.S. Nakandala, Ambassador in Iraq, Mr. M.F. Razeen, Ambassador in Iran, Mr. Gamini Rajapaksa, Ambassador in Jordan, Mr. Jayantha Palipane, Ambassador in Qatar, and Mr. Sarath Wijesinghe, Ambassador in Israel, made presentations in respect of their work. This was followed by a discussion on strengths and challenges, and the way ahead.

A systematic programme for implementation of the proposals made, was formulated.

The discussion centered on an overview of activities carried out by each of the Missions, as well as labour and employment promotion and consular issues.

After the full day workshop, Prof. Peiris and Mr. Namal Rajapaksa met informally with the Sri Lankan community in the U.A.E.

Ministry of External Affairs
8th June 2014