Wednesday, 11 June 2014 00:00
External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris has participated in a regional workshop held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday for the Sri Lankan envoys in the in Middle Eastern countries.
Addressing the event, the Minister explained that the purpose of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for intense interaction with Heads of Mission in these countries on objectives and priorities with regard to their work, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
The Minister referred to the importance of the region to Sri Lanka in terms of international collaboration and economic issues including trade, investment, employment opportunities and tourism.
He said that, with Sri Lanka’s rapidly growing relationship with these countries in each of these fields, it is crucial to define targets with time frames and to have continuing assessment of progress. Minister Peiris set out what the government expected from its embassies in each of these countries within the next year and appropriate modalities to achieve these goals.
The discussion centered on an overview of activities carried out by each of the Missions, as well as labor and employment promotion and consular issues.
A systematic program for implementation of the proposals made was formulated.
MP Namal Rajapaksa also participated in the roundtable discussion with the envoys.
Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya, Ambassador in Iraq A.S. Nakandala, Ambassador in Iran M.F. Razeen, Ambassador in Jordan Gamini Rajapaksa, Ambassador in Qatar Jayantha Palipane and Ambassador in Israel Sarath Wijesinghe made presentations in respect of their work. This was followed by a discussion on strengths and challenges and the way ahead.
After the full day workshop, Prof. Peiris and Rajapaksa met informally with the Sri Lankan community in the UAE.