Sri Lanka and Maldives have agreed to enhance bilateral co-operation following the successful completion of the official visit to Sri Lanka by Maldivian Foreign Minister (Ms.) Dunya Maumoon at the invitation of Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka (Prof.) G.L. Peiris.
Last Friday, (25th April, 2014) the two Ministers engaged in bilateral consultations at the Ministry of External Affairs on the whole gamut of bilateral relations including political, economic and cultural and educational spheres. The discussions also covered co-operation in regional and international fora.
The two Ministers assessed the various outcomes of the State visit of Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in January 2014 and considered ways and means of expediting the decisions. Given the qualitative and quantitative expansion of co-operation between the two countries, it was agreed to re-orient the Sri Lanka-Maldives Joint Commission bringing all areas of bilateral engagement within the Joint Commission framework. Consequently, the focused areas of the Joint Commission will include Economic Co-operation, Tourism, Culture, Fisheries, Education, Health, Youth & Skills Development, Sports, Employment, Consular & Community Affairs, Co-operation in the Legal field and Air Services. The Joint Commission would facilitate a periodic review of the progress and provide necessary policy direction in the areas of identified co-operation.
The two Ministers were accompanied at the talks by the Maldivian Acting. High Commissioner Dr. Hussain Niyaaz, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne and officials of the two countries.
During the visit, the visiting Minister attended an event at the Temple Trees on 26th April hosted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth to celebrate the cultural diversity of the organization in the backdrop of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of Maldives and Madam Nasreena Ibrahim, the parents of the Maldivian Foreign Minister, as Special Guests of President Rajapaksa also graced the occasion.