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Sri Lanka, UK to convene 2nd Strategic Dialogue in Colombo next week

By: Staff Writer

May 05, Colombo (LNW): The second meeting of the strategic dialogue between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held in Colombo on 07 May 2024, at the senior officials’ level.

The meeting will review developments in foreign and security policies, as well as progress in the areas of bilateral engagement, including trade, investment, tourism, climate change, environment protection, migration, and maritime cooperation among others.

The meeting will also take stock of cooperation by the two countries at international fora, including at the United Nations and Commonwealth.

Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2023. The visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne this year to commemorate this occasion underscored the importance of our enduring friendship.

At the second Strategic Dialogue, the Sri Lanka delegation will be led by Director General Europe and North America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shobini Gunasekera. It includes bilateral talks with Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane.

The UK side will be led by Director/India and Indian Ocean Directorate at Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Ben Meller and will comprise High Commissioner Andrew Patrick, Head of Sri Lanka team in the FCDO Humairaa Haita and the High Commission officials along with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government agencies.

Sri Lanka participated in the inaugural UK-Sri Lanka Strategic Dialogue at the Foreign Secretary level on April 18, 2023 at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London.

Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane attended the Dialogue on behalf of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

UK Minister of State in the FCDO Anne Marie Trevelyan opened the dialogue, an dit was conducted with the participation of Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Undersecretary of the FCDO. 

The inaugural Strategic Dialogue has been convened at the invitation of the FCDO at the important juncture of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom this year.

The Strategic Dialogue has provided a forum for both sides to discuss the multifaceted relations between the two countries.

On the sidelines of the dialogue, Foreign Secretary Wijewardane had a bilateral meeting with Assistant Secretary General of the Commonwealth Prof. Luis G. Franceschi and interacted  with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). 

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