Foreign Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera and Indonesian Foreign Minister Madam Retno Marsudi agreed on Wednesday (26 October) to take forward several initiatives on the bilateral political and economic fronts and also strengthen cooperation within IORA as well as international fora with a view to elevate the relationship. The two Ministers met in Bali, Indonesia on the eve of the 16th Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
During the discussions held at the Bali International Convention Center, the Ministers also spoke of the shared values of democracy and pluralism, the significant momentum generated following the interactions between President Maithripala Sririsena and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the Outreach sessions of the G7 Summit and the meeting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had with the President of Indonesia at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, in August 2016.
The Ministers agreed to work on all elements of the bilateral engagement including the exchange of highest political level visits, convening the Joint Commission at early, mutually convenient dates in 2017. They also noted the intensified cooperation between the respective independent Election Commissions.
The Indonesian Foreign Minister Mdm. Retno Marsudi thanked Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera for the substantive contribution Sri Lanka has made towards the development of IORA and sought Sri Lanka's engagement for the substantive outcome of the IORA Summit in Indonesia in 2017. Minister Samaraweera assured Sri Lanka's continued partnership including for the Summit and its substantive outcome.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is expected to have other bilateral consultations with visiting counterparts on the sidelines of the IORA Council of Ministers.
Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Indonesia Dharshana M. Perera, Ms. Sithara Khan Director General, Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, as well as Ambassador Desra Percaya, Director General of South Central Asia and the Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, accompanied by respective officials of the two countries were associated with the two Ministers at the discussions.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
26 October 2016