Sri Lanka-Philippines hold second Political Consultations

Thursday, 1 November 2018 01:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka and the Philippines successfully convened their second Political Consultations in Manila. The meeting, co-chaired by Sumith Nakandala, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and Enrique A. Manalo, Undersecretary for Policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of Philippines, discussed ways to deepen and broaden Philippines-Sri Lanka relations in the areas of trade and investment, defence, education, tourism, labour migration, agriculture, and mutual legal assistance. 

New areas of cooperation were also explored during the Consultations, including training for health service providers in disaster response, nursing, and possible sister-city agreements between local government units. 

Both sides also exchanged views on regional developments in Asia, as well as in ASEAN-related topics, including ASEAN-Sri Lanka relations and Sri Lanka’s desire to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner (SDP), the highlights and accomplishments of the Philippines’ 2017 ASEAN Chairmanship, and the forthcoming 33rd ASEAN Summit.

The Philippine delegation included DFA Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs (ASPAC) Meynardo L.B. Montealegre, Philippine Non-Resident Ambassador to Sri Lanka Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo, ASPAC Executive Director Josel F. Ignacio, DFA Economic Diplomacy Unit Director Edgar Tomas Auxilian, DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Policy Special Assistant Lily Ann Cheng, ASPAC Principal Assistant Ralph Jacob Viloria, DFA Office of Maritime and Ocean Affairs Principal Assistant Rowena Mutia, Department of Trade and Industry Director Atty. Ann Claire C. Cabochan, Department of Health Director Gloria J. Balboa, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Director Laura S. Timonera, Department of the Interior and Local Government Director Atty. Odilon L. Pasaraba, and Department of Justice State Counsel Florina C. Agtarap.

The Sri Lankan delegation included Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Philippines Aruni Ranaraja, Director for East Asia and Pacific Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka K.K. Yoganaadan, and Second Secretary of the Embassy of Sri Lanka Sewwandi De Silva.

Sri Lanka and the Philippines launched the Political Consultations mechanism on 21 November 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The second meeting in Manila comes as Sri Lanka and Philippines look forward to celebrate the 58 years of formal diplomatic relations on 11 January 2019, with high-level visits and other commemorative activities. 

The next round of Political Consultations will be held in Sri Lanka, with the exact date to be determined and mutually agreed upon through diplomatic channels.