Foreign Minister Gunawardena Calls Ambassador Haidari on EID and Concern about Resurgent Terrorism in Afghanistan
Colombo: - The Honorable Leader of the House of Sri Lankan Parliament and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena thoughtfully called by phone Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari to exchange Eid-Al-Adha greetings yesterday. The Ambassador conveyed to him the warm Eid wishes of Foreign Minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar, welcoming Sri Lanka's consistent support of efforts by the Government and people of Afghanistan to end the imposed war through a results-driven peace process.
Foreign Minister Gunawardena expressed his nation's full sympathy with suffering Afghans, daily targeted by Taliban and their affiliated terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, ETIM, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and others with safe havens in Afghanistan’s neighborhood.
Ambassador Haidari recalled the defeat of terrorism by the Sri Lankan forces, who ended the unspeakable suffering that decades of terrorism had been inflicting on Sri Lankans. That's why he noted that Sri Lankans, more than any other nation in the region, feel the suffering of Afghans, as well as their desire for an end to the imposed war.
Both sides agreed to meet soon to exchange views on developing events in Afghanistan.
Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari spoke on a South Asian Ambassadors panel discussion re South Asia's Approach to the New Normal in the Post COVID19 World co-hosted by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 15, 2021.
He discussed the convergence of conflict, COVID19, and climate change with a focus on Afghanistan, which's been affected the most by the collision of the three man-made and natural disasters. He analyzed each challenge confronting Afghanistan and how their resolution needs tangible regional cooperation and international support.
In this regard, he highlighted this week's Dushanbe SCO Foreign Ministerial Meeting and the Tashkent South Asia and Central Asia Regional Connectivity Conference as timely opportunities for Afghanistan’s wider neighborhood to help stabilize the country against resurgent terrorism, which should pave the way for regional connectivity, trade, and people-to-people ties.
Ambassador Haidari Meets Sri Lankan Air Force Commander Air Marshal Pathirana, Discusses Defense Cooperation
Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari had a productive follow-up meeting with the Sri Lankan Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana on July 15, 2021. They discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest and concern that underpin the growing Afghanistan-Sri Lanka security and defense cooperation.
Moreover, they recalled the courage and sacrifices of the Sri Lankan combat pilots during war years, who provided the critical air-support the ground forces needed to counter and later defeat terrorists.
In this light, they agreed that pilots from both sides need to meet and share mutual lessons to be learned, as ANDSF relentlessly defends Afghanistan against terrorism with regional and transnational roots.
Colombo-based Diplomats Sign Book of Condolence for the Victims of the Sayed Ul-Shuhada Girls’ School Bombing
He added: "despite COVID19 difficulties these-days, several of my ambassadorial colleagues dropped by our Embassy to sign the book of condolence, while others have called or sent us messages to express their sympathies with the Government and people of Afghanistan, as well as with the bereaved families of the innocent victims.
They've condemned in the strongest terms possible the two crimes against humanity punishable under Islamic and international human rights and humanitarian laws. And they've joined us in calling for the perpetrators to face the full force of justice."
Ambassador Haidari Meets Secretary-General of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka
Colombo: - Secretary-General of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Ajith D. Perera called on Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari in early May 2021. They discussed the status of growing bilateral trade, assessing opportunities for further cooperation.
Ambassador Haidari pointed out the signing of a cooperation MOU between the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and offered to facilitate the signing of another MOU between the Federations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, which the Secretary-General
They also discussed numerous investment opportunities in Afghanistan where Sri Lankan investors were encouraged to consider joint ventures with successful Afghan businesses. Ambassador Haidari offered to speak to the FCCISL members soon.
"We discussed their fresh ideas, while exploring key global issues that concern the whole humanity: from managing the global COVID19 pandemic and climate change to addressing the root causes of man-made disasters such as terrorism, which daily victimizes innocents, including the Afghan people," said Ambassador Haidari.
He added, "I wish them the best and look forward to receiving their proposal for support to share with my counterparts in the diplomatic community. Without investing in these young leaders with a win-win mindset, we'd be stuck with zero-sum policies, mostly dominating international relations today."
Ambassador Haidari Attends Iftar Dinner and Thanks SLMC Leader for Supporting the Afghan Peace Process
The SLMC also supported the Afghan peace process, calling on all sides to honor their commitments and to resume meaningful peace talks as soon as possible to avoid causing further pain and suffering. The Afghan media widely covered SLMC's principled support.
Read the SLMC statement in the following link: https://t.co/nCmO1eVtUT
Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari met his Turkish counterpart Ambassador Demet Şekercioğlu on April 23, 2021, as part of his regular consultations and collaboration with diplomats in Colombo. They discussed the importance of the Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministerial Meeting, following ongoing peace efforts to facilitate the resumption of results-driven talks consistent with the progress made in Doha and the commitments made by the Taliban under the Doha Agreement with the US, which yet have to materialize.
Ambassador Haidari recalled the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process as one of the key mechanisms of regional security and economic cooperation by helping stabilize Afghanistan on a sustainable basis. He appreciated this early Turkish initiative, which held its 9th Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, last March. Among other things, the 16 Heart of Asia countries called for an end to all acts of terrorism in Afghanistan:
"We condemn the continuing high level of violence in Afghanistan, especially the high number of civilian causalities and deliberate targeting of civil service employees, civil society activists, human rights defenders, journalists and media workers by the Taliban and terrorist groups."
Ambassadors Haidari and Şekercioğlu hoped that the trilateral meeting in Turkey would help address shared concerns and pave the way for meaningful peace talks soon.
Read the full text of the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process declaration: https://t.co/hykfN4b2OR
On behalf of the Government and people of Afghanistan, I extend our wishes of peace and joy to all Sri Lankans, who celebrate the Vesak Day.
The essence of Ramadan reminds us that the Buddhist and Muslim communities across the world share values of compassion, charity, self-struggle, peace, tolerance, and co-existence. Indeed, there is no better time than now, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, to practice these shared values towards one another and the whole human-family. That may be the best way to honor these values and to celebrate the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, this Vesak.
May you all enjoy a peaceful, joyful, and self-enlightening Vesak Day!
Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari - May 26, 2021