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Norway-Sri Lanka diplomacy revitalizes with strengthened ties and bilateral cooperation

By: Staff Writer

May 23, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka-Norway diplomatic relations have entered a dynamic new phase with strengthened ties and bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

Norway, which shut its Embassy in Colombo last year, is now ready to boost bilateral ties with Sri Lanka.

This assurance was given by May-Elin Stener, the Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka and India who visited Sri Lanka during 2nd to 9th May, a statement issued Tuesday noted.

The visit marks a pivotal moment in the strengthening of bilateral ties between Norway and Sri Lanka as Ambassador Stener engaged in constructive dialogues with key stakeholders, including, President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the leader of National People’s Power, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and TNA Member of Parliament, M. A. Sumanthiran.

During her meeting with President Wickremasinghe, Ambassador Stener was briefed on the commendable progress of Norwegian investments and development projects in Sri Lanka. Both parties reiterated their commitment to sustaining the close partnership between the two nations, underscoring mutual interests in various sectors.

A pivotal segment of Ambassador Stener’s diplomatic mission unfolded in discussions with Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, where the positive trends of investments and increasing tourist inflows from Norway to Sri Lanka was discussed. Other crucial topics such as reconciliation efforts, economic reforms, and ongoing Norwegian development initiatives within Sri Lanka were also addressed.

Ambassador Stener also had insightful dialogues with key opposition figures, including Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. The topics of discussion revolved around Sri Lanka’s economic priorities, with particular emphasis on fostering collaboration in renewable energy, maritime affairs, and circular economy initiatives.

Acknowledging the diverse political landscape, Ambassador Stener extended her appreciation to Anura Kumara Dissanayake for a substantive exchange of views on Sri Lanka’s developmental trajectory. Both parties explored avenues for bolstering Norway’s contributions to Sri Lanka’s development and reconciliation endeavors, identifying promising sectors for enhanced cooperation.

Ambassador Stener’s visit exemplifies Norway’s steadfast commitment to nurturing bilateral relations with Sri Lanka. She is supported by the Honorary Consul General for Norway in Sri Lanka Mano Sekaram and the consulate office.

Financial aid had been Norway’s most important foreign policy tool and the Scandinavian nation has contributed to Sri Lanka in development assistance since 1965, according to statistics from Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Priority areas of Norway’s assistance to Sri Lanka are also linked to some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In providing development cooperation, noteworthy is Norway’s technical support in the field of fisheries since 1971, which includes fisheries management, research and education, and private sector development with the aim of achieving sustainable management of fisheries resources in Sri Lanka.

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