Prior to the establishment of direct bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in 2013, the two countries had been maintaining non-resident bilateral representation through their missions in Delhi, India. In December 2012, at the invitation of former H.E. Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka Professor G.L. Peiris, former H.E. Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Dr. Zalmai Rassoul paid an official visit to Sri Lanka. The three-day visit marked the first ever bilateral visit undertaken by an Afghan Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka.
The following Joint Communique was released at the end of the productive working visit by the former Afghan Foreign Minister:
Joint Communique Between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan
To build on the foreign ministerial discussions and to expedite the implementation of a number of cooperation agreements and MOUs, highlighted in the above Joint Communique, former H.E. President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa invited his then Afghan counterpart H.E. President Hamid Karzai, who paid a State Visit to Sri Lanka from March 5-7, 2014. On March 6, 2014, the two leaders met one-on-one, exchanging views on a range of domestic, regional, and global issues of mutual interest. Sri Lanka’s experience to end a long conflict and achieve genuine peace figured high in the two leaders’ discussions, so did a discussion of how Sri Lanka’s skilled labor could help contribute to Afghanistan’s stabilization and development efforts.
Since then, both sides have continued implementing the existing agreements and MOUs, and look forward to exchanging high level delegations to build upon and further expand our bilateral relationship. The recent appointment by H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of a new Ambassador to Sri Lanka will help achieve this shared objective.