The first session of Political Consultations between Sri Lanka and the State of Palestine was held in Colombo on 21st April 2017 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. The Protocol on Political Consultations was signed between the two countries in 2012, with a view to further develop bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest.
The delegations deliberated on further developing the existing relations into new areas of economic cooperation. The meeting identified several new areas including trade, investment, education, culture, tourism, health, agriculture, skill development, and vocational training for bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit. Further the meeting proposed to enter into bilateral agreements to formalize such cooperation in the identified areas, as appropriate.
The Palestine delegation briefed the meeting on the developments in the conflict between Palestine and Israel and the Middle East peace process. Sri Lanka recognized Palestine as a State in 1988. Sri Lanka has consistently supported the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and their right to an independent sovereign state based on the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Palestinian delegation appreciated Sri Lanka’s steadfast support and solidarity with the people of State of Palestine to gain permanent sovereignty and self-determination.
The Sri Lankan delegation of Senior officials was led by Mrs. Grace Asirwatham, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Palestinian side was led by Ambassador Dr. Mazen M.A. Shamaiyah, Assistant Minister for Asian and Australian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Palestinian delegation included His Excellency Zuhir Hamdallah, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Sri Lanka and officials from the Palestine Foreign Ministry while the Sri Lankan delegation was comprised of senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Skills Development & Vocational Training, Education, Higher Education & Highways, Health, Agriculture, Tourism Development & Christian Religious Affairs, Transport and Civil Aviation, Science and Technology, International Affairs, Wayaba Development and Cultural Affairs and Sri Lanka Tea Board, Water Supply & Drainage Board, Department of Commerce and Board of Investment.
The second session of the political consultations between Sri Lanka and the State of Palestine will be held in Ramallah, Palestine, in 2018.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
24 April 2017