Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana paid an official working visit to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 28th to 30th September on an invitation extended by its Government.
The Foreign Minister met with his counterpart Igor Crnadak on 28th September. The meeting was followed by formal discussions between the delegations of Sri Lanka and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina highlighted the importance of the meeting and saw it as a springboard for opening diplomatic relations and bilateral cooperation between the two countries, both of which are in the process of post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.
Foreign Minister Marapana, thanking his counterpart for the invitation, made a brief reference to the Non-Aligned Movement, of which former leaders of the two countries, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike and President Tito were pioneers. He also assured Minister Crnadak that a Bosnia – Sri Lanka parliamentary friendship group would shortly be formed in the Sri Lanka Parliament.
Foreign Minister Crnadak stated that though the main focus of Bosnia and Herzegovina at present is on integration with the European Union and regional cooperation with Balkan states, they are also very keen to open a new chapter in foreign affairs by establishing trade and investment promotion between Bosnia and Asian countries like Sri Lanka. He said that to that end the opening of an Honorary Consulate in Colombo is a welcoming step.
Minister Marapana invited Minister Igor Crnadak to visit Sri Lanka. At a press conference, which followed the meeting, the two Ministers outlined the importance of the present visit in promoting mutual cooperation and goodwill between the two countries.
On 29th September, Foreign Minister Marapana had a meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister Josip Brkic in the latter’s constituency at Medjugorje.