Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and his Sri Lankan counterpart Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris emphasized the strong bilateral relations between their respective countries as the two foreign ministers met at the home of hosts of Padma, Monday November 15th.
Dr Momen congratulated Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris on his new appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and thanked him for attending the 21st meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) The Council of Ministers (COM) physically despite global health issues related to Covid-19, a press release said.
The Foreign Minister also said that Bangladesh attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka, which he described as excellent, on the basis of historical ties, friendship, common views and of the shared vision of prosperity.
Recalling the State visit of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to Dhaka from March 19 to 20, 2021 on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh, he noted that he has helped to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Gamini Lakshman Peiris expressed his joy in meeting his Bangladeshi counterpart. He recalled the recent meeting of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the CoP-26 World Leaders Summit and said Sri Lanka’s leaders highly appreciate Bangladesh’s recent economic development.
Peiris reiterated the importance of close relations between the two neighbors. He particularly insisted on continued cooperation in sectors such as trade, investment, tourism, connectivity, agriculture, fisheries, education and people-to-people contacts.
The two ministers also emphasized the rapid conclusion of the PTA and the strengthening of trade and commerce between the two countries. They stressed the need to further strengthen air and sea connectivity for the benefit of both countries, the press release added.
The Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs sought collaboration in the field of e-commerce, involvement in the digital sector through the sharing of expertise from Bangladesh.
Dr Momen spoke of Bangladesh’s success in the pharmaceutical sector and urged his Sri Lankan counterpart to import pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh.
The two foreign ministers noted the ongoing cooperation within the framework of IORA, maritime cooperation, maritime security, blue economy, climate change, prevention of overexploitation of marine resources.
They also pledged to explore the possibility of collaboration between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University of Bangladesh and the National Institute of Marine Ocean Sciences of Sri Lanka. The meeting ended on a positive note in a cordial atmosphere.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister is visiting Dhaka from November 15-18, 2021 and is expected to attend the 21st IORA COM meeting to be held on November 17, 2021.