Sri Lanka to expand political and economic cooperation with Spain and Turkey
By Ministry of External Affairs
May 29, 2014

Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, held bilateral discussions with Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 17thMinisterial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Algiers.

Minister Davutoglu paid tribute to the resilience Sri Lanka had shown in its recovery from the tsunami calamity, soon after which he had visited the country, and also in respect of the impressive progress which Sri Lanka had made after the eradication of terrorism. With direct airline connectivity now established between Colombo and Istanbul, Turkey’s Foreign Minister had no doubt about the potential for further expansion of trade and tourism. He expressed interest in sending young diplomats from Turkey for exposure to the programmes of training offered in Sri Lanka.

The two Ministers noted a substantial overlap in the challenges confronting their countries and agreed on the need for closer political collaboration. They also decided to strengthen the Joint Economic Commission, chaired by the Minister of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Minister of Finance of Turkey.

They discussed their common experience in expanding co-operation with countries in Africa and Latin America as a central feature of their current foreign policy initiatives.

External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris had bilateral discussions with Mr. Manuel Garcia Marfil, Minister of Foreign Affairs Spain, on the sidelines of the 17thMinisterial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Algiers on Wednesday.

Minister Peiris briefed his Spanish counterpart on Sri Lanka's current situation, with particular reference to issues connected with development and reconciliation. Trade, investment and tourism were other major topics, which the Ministers discussed at their meeting.

Minister Marfil informed Prof. Pieris about plans by the Government of Spain to open an Embassy in Colombo in the near future. The Foreign Minister of Spain said that he considered this a timely development, having regard to the significantly enhanced ties between the two countries in a variety of sectors.

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