The Ambassador of Sri Lanka Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis met with Minister of Defence Affairs of Kingdom of Bahrain Lieutenant General Yousuf Bin Ahmed Bin Hussain Al Jalahma recently.
Lt. General Yousuf Bin Al Jalahma was appointed as the Minister of Defence in 2014. The Supreme Commander of Defence is the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bahrain Defence Force (BDF); which comprises Royal Bahraini Army, Royal Bahraini Navy, Royal Bahraini Ari Force, Royal Bahraini Air Defence Force and Royal Medical Services; is regulated and is under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence, which is headed by Lt-General Yousuf Bin Al Jalahma.
Lt-General Yousuf Bin Al Jalahma is one of the senior most Members of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Ministry of Defence is one of the most important ministries, as in any other country, since it ensures the stability, peace, security, unity and solidarity of the country, which in turn makes a direct impingement on socio-economic and commercial advancement and augmentation of the country.
Ambassador Dr. Mendis conveyed the greetings and wishes of the Government of Sri Lanka to the Minister of Defence and enunciated that the two countries have been maintaining friendly, cordial and affable relations well before the formal diplomatic relations were established in 1992. Both the Minister and the Ambassador agreed that the issue of security and stability of any given nation is of extreme significance and criticality not only for development but also for peace, stability and harmony between and amongst the peoples and the nation states.
The Minister and Ambassador broached and discussed significant and seminal developments and issues in the sphere of security, stability and defence related matters and conferences in the region as well as in the respective countries. Ambassador discussed the forthcoming international conference in Bahrain titled ‘Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference for Defence’ in October and the high profile ‘Manama Dialogue’ on the second week of December as well as the ‘Galle Dialogue’ in October in Colombo, among others.
The cordial and focused discussion with the Minister of Defence lasted nearly an hour at the Ministry Head office. The meeting encompassed a myriad of issues ranging from extremism to fundamentalism and regional security to international security as well as geo-political to geo-economic dynamics, among others. The Ambassador stated that Sri Lanka, today, has absolute peace, stability and vibrancy after nearly three decades of terrorist conflict, which ended in 2009. The Minister of Defence also added that Sri Lanka is on a rapid economic trajectory and peace and stability are imperative to sustain economic and commercial advancement.
Ambassador Mendis expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom of Bahrain for the unstinting cooperation and support extended to Sri Lanka, often, at most testing and trying times, both at regional and at international forums including at the Human Rights Council, when Bahrain was a member of the Council. On the same note, Ambassador stated that a large number of Sri Lankan expatriates are comfortably and happily live and work in the Kingdom of Bahrain and expressed appreciation to the Minister. The Minister added that most of the corporates, government institutions and employers in Bahrain wish to recruit Sri Lankan semi-skilled and skilled employees and professionals since they are highly committed, dedicated, competent and honest.
The Minister of Defence stated that he has been to Sri Lanka four years ago and was much impressed of the natural beauty and economic advancement of the country. He added that Sri Lanka would be well positioned and well poised to be a major and cogent touristic hub not only in the region but also in the world.