Friday, August 19, 2022
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Govt to bolster ties with the Middle East seeking fuel aid

Sri Lanka is now making every effort to cement diplomatic ties with The Middle East tainted since 2014 and thereafter in 2021 anti muslim violence in 2014 with the aim of obtaining assistance to avert critical fuel crisis in the country.

Under this setup Sri Lanka has sought a credit line from Qatar for fuel and gas when Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera and the Sri Lankan delegation met with the Deputy Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development.

The discussions ended ina deadlock without any fruitful out come as the Qatari authorities are not in favour to grant credit lenes for the purchase of fuel as the island nation has defaulted the US$ 700 million granted from the Qatar Fund for Development during the previous Yahapalana regime, informed sources in Qatar divulged.

So the Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera has to return to the island clean suit empty pocket following the pledge given by the Deputy Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development to provide some aid for the purchasing of medicines for local hospitals.

President Goatabaya Rajapaksa is expected to visit UAE soon to further strengthen friendly relations between the two countries and to lobby for the importation of fuel directly from oil producing countries in the Gulf specially UAE and Qatar.

This was announced by former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage when he appeared at a media conference for the first time after the May 9 attack on Gota Go Gama protesters at Galle Face green in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan President’s visit is yet to be confirmed by the presidential secretariat as there was no official communiqué issued by the media division.

Under this set up Sri Lanka has sought a credit line from Qatar for fuel and gas when Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera met with the Deputy Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development yesterday

.He tweeted that he discussed a possible credit line facility for petroleum and gas and DDG has informed that funds has been allocated for medical supplies and will consider the request for a credit facility and support the IMF program.

The confirmation of the Credit line facilty should come from Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the President and CEO of Qatar Energy.

The Qatar Development Fund is the sole authority in granting such finacial facilities for foreign countries.

It has granted US$ 300 million to a local fund for the welfare of children of poor families in the East. This money had been confiscated by the authorities following Easter attack investigations creating displeasure among Qatari authorities local media reported at that time.

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