May 13, 2019 (LBO) – The first session of political consultations between Sri Lanka and Turkey with a new road map for enhanced cooperation in prioritized sectors between the two nations was concluded recently.
In order to further consolidate this engagement, a bilateral legal framework will be formalized to generate mutually beneficial outcomes in the tourism, trade and investment, security, science and technology, culture and higher education sectors.
Among the future activities identified, is a visit to Turkey by a delegation of Sri Lankan tour operators/travel agents followed by a visit to Sri Lanka by a high level and diverse Turkish business delegation to coincide with the bilateral Joint Economic Commission.
The head of delegation of Sri Lanka and Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, welcoming the Turkish delegation to the consultations, reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to further advance the excellent bilateral engagement spanning seventy one years since 1948.
Aryasinha also expressed Sri Lanka’s sincere appreciation for the support and solidarity extended to Sri Lanka by the Government and people of Turkey following the Easter Sunday attacks.
The head of the Turkish delegation and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Sedat Önal, commenting on the enduring bilateral ties, recalled Sri Lanka’s unique resilience in the face of adversity, and expressed confidence in the country’s ability to recover fully from the Easter Sunday setback. Deputy Foreign Minister Önal reiterated Turkey’s ready support in this process.
The consultations also focused on the need for Turkey and Sri Lanka to pursue shared economic interests and address common challenges such as, terrorism, at regional and multilateral platforms. Both sides agreed to actively follow-up on the deliverables and review progress at the second session of political consultations earmarked for early 2020.