Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday (18th Nov.) as a part of his Asian Tour. Minister Nahyan was received by State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
Minister Al Nahyan paid Courtesy calls on President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and had bilateral discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana.
Matters related to political affairs, trade and investment opportunities between Sri Lanka and the UAE were discussed during the bilateral meeting. Ministers agreed on several initiatives to strengthen cultural cooperation and employment prospects for Sri Lankan workers in the UAE, which will further expand the relations between the two countries. Sri Lanka invited the UAE investors to invest in Sri Lanka, especially in infrastructure projects which will support Sri Lanka’s endeavors to emerge as a maritime hub in the Indian Ocean. The two Ministers decided to hold the second round of Sri Lanka-UAE Joint Commission next year in Colombo, which will be a platform to resolve several issues related to Sri Lankan domestic workers in the UAE, and discussed areas of economic cooperation including enhanced market access to value added Sri Lankan products in the UAE. Minister Marapana confirmed that Sri Lanka would also participate at EXPO 2020 in Dubai from 20th Oct. 2020 to 10th April 2021.
The Ministers concluded a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Establishment of a Joint Committee for Consular Affairs, and an Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance on Customs Matters.
The UAE delegation headed by Minister Al Nahyan, included UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka His Excellency Abdulhamid Al Mulla, Deputy Chief of Staff Maktoum Al Maktoum, Head of Media and Content Jamal Al Suwaidi of the office of the Foreign Minister, Desk Officer of the West Asia Department of the Foreign Ministry and Third Secretary Maryam Azizi.
Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana was accompanied by State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, Department of Commerce and the Department of Customs.