The State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake paid an official visit to El Salvador from 6 -9 July to represent Sri Lanka at the first session of bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and El Salvador.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Promotion Carlos Castaneda led the El Salvador side during the bilateral political consultations.
A key issue that the two ministers focused on during the discussions was collaborative processes for the prevention of the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) that is prevalent in both El Salvador and Sri Lanka. They agreed to utilise scientific and technical assistance through the framework of South-South Cooperation to address challenges in the health and education sectors.
The ministers also agreed to explore the possibility of signing a framework agreement on scientific, technical, education and cultural cooperation to pursue shared objectives in these sectors. On the subject of gender equality, Sri Lanka and El Salvador undertook to share their experiences and best practices.
The two sides also discussed bilateral trade and investment, and envisaged cooperation in the areas of culture, science and technology, education, agriculture and tourism. To strengthen bilateral trade, the two ministers agreed to promote business linkages between the relevant chambers of commerce in the two countries and host trade fairs. In this context, El Salvador extended an invitation to the Government of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s business community to actively participate in the 26th International Fair Edition, a bi-annual trade fair scheduled to be held in San Salvador from 14-17 November 2018.
The two sides issued a joint communiqué following the conclusion of the first session of bilateral political consultations. Sri Lanka will host the Second Session of Bilateral Consultations in 2020.
During the visit State Minister Senanayake also paid a courtesy call on the President of El Salvador Salvador Sánchez Cerén. State Minister Senanayake was accompanied to the meetings by A.L. Ratnapala, Ambassador to El Salvador accredited from Havana, Cuba.