Unofficial Translation

Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,

The Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka:

On behalf of the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, I would like to extend to you our sincere congratulations on your swearing-in as the new Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Excellency,

I am pleased that the friendly relations and cooperation between our two countries—which encompass political, economic, cultural, education, health, science and technology areas—have strengthened. I have no doubt that under your leadership, our bilateral ties will further develop.

While appreciating the existing friendly relations between our two nations, the National Unity Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan looks forward to the further growth of our ties bilaterally, as well as within the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Availing myself of this opportunity, I wish you fine health and success, as well as progress and prosperity to the friendly people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Abdullah Abdullah

The Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Kabul – Afghanistan

November 21, 2019

Colombo: - On November 26, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari met with an Afghan civil society delegation, including Mr. Ahmad Murtaza Habibyar, who recently visited Sri Lanka to observe the conducting of the presidential elections on November 16, 2019 in the country. Mr. Habibyar said the preparatory work done by Sri Lanka's Election Commission--which Mr. Abdul Rizan Hameed represented in the meeting--was impressive and should be emulated.

Both sides told Ambassador Haidari that much potential for cooperation between the Election Commissions of the two countries exists, especially in learning and exchanging views on best practices. The Ambassador suggested that he meet with Chairman of the Election Commission in Sri Lanka to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation. Both sides welcomed his suggestion, offering to support future exchanges.

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Unofficial Translation

Excellency Dinesh Gunawardena, M.P.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka:

I would like to extend to you my sincere congratulations on your appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the beautiful country of Sri Lanka.

I strongly believe that following your appointment, relations between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan would further strengthen and develop on a continual basis. Both of our countries as the member-states of the SAARC family share many commonalities in the region. Terrorism and extremism constitute major challenges facing the world, which have also posed a threat to and harmed our two nations. Hence, jointly fighting these menaces through human and protective security measures can help forge stronger bilateral ties between our two countries.

Once again, Excellency, I congratulate you on your new appointment and wish you

further success, as well as peace and prosperity to the friendly people of Sri Lanka.

Idrees Zaman

The Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Kabul – Afghanistan

November 24, 2019

Colombo: - On behalf of the Government and people of Afghanistan, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari attended on November 22, 2019 the State-Lying-In Ceremony of the remains of the late Honorable Forrmer Prime Minister of Sri Lanka D. M. Jayaratne at the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Haidari signed the condolencebook, expressing the profound condolences of the Afghan Government and people to those of Sri Lanka, as well as to the family and loved ones of the late Former Prime Minister, who served his nation with utmost dedication and distinction.

May he rest in eternal peace!

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Colombo: - On November 21, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari congratulated HE Mahinda Rajapaksa on being sworn as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. We look forward to working with the Prime Minister to further expand our bilateral relations, which his presidency in 2013 helped elevate to direct diplomatic ties. The Prime Minister is a friend of the Afghan people, who he has admired for standing up against terrorism.

HE President Ashraf Ghani congratulated his new Sri Lankan counterpart, HE President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on his recent election, calling for stronger ties with Sri Lanka, in light of our shared interests.

Read Ambassador Haidari's write-up on HE President Ghani's congratulatory message to HE President Rajapaksa.

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 Unofficial Translation

 Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The New President of Sri Lanka:

On behalf of the Government and people of Afghanistan, please allow me to extend to Your Excellency my sincere congratulations on your recent election as the President of the friendly country of Sri Lanka. Your Excellency’s democratic election demonstrates the strong confidence of the people of Sri Lanka in your leadership, vision, and programs of action for the betterment of your nation and country.

Excellency,

Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have had notable achievements in developing friendly, bilateral relations. However, more potential exists to be realized in bolstering ties between our two nations. Indeed, our presence in a common region with many shared challenges and opportunities, which must be addressed and taken advantage of jointly, can help deepen our bilateral relationship.

To that end, while we remain satisfied with the pace of our bilateral cooperation, we look forward to working with the new Government of Sri Lanka to further expand our ties within the frameworks of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including at the regional and international organizations levels.

I wish Your Excellency further success and fine health, as well as sustainable peace and prosperity for the friendly people of Sri Lanka.

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani

The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Kabul – Afghanistan

November 18, 2019

Colombo: - On November 18, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari represented the Government of Afghanistan in the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Sri Lanka, HE Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in Anuradhapura. He conveyed to the President the congratulatory greetings of his Afghan counterpart, HE President Ashraf Ghani.

Afghanistan and Sri Lanka established direct diplomatic ties under the former President of Sri Lanka, HE Mahinda Rajapaksa, in 2013, since when our bilateral ties have continued to grow.

In this regard and on the way forward, read Ambassador Haidari's recent article on "Afghanistan and Sri Lanka: Natural Partners in Democracy and Development."

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Colombo: - On November 16, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari met with Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. They discussed terrorism, extremism, drug-trafficking, and human-trafficking as the key non-traditional security challenges that confront littoral and landlocked countries
such as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan alike.

In this light, they explored potential areas of bilateral cooperation, as Afghanistan looks forward to signing with Sri Lanka a bilateral MOU on Defense Cooperation.

In his early article in The National lnterest Magazine Magazine, Ambassador Haidari discusses how "Afghanistan's Stabilization Can Ensure Maritime Security" in the greater Indo-Pacific region.

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Colombo: - On November 16, 2019, Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari met with Sri Lanka Navy Commander Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, following his representation of Afghanistan in the recent Galle Dialogue 2019: International Maritime Conference, organized by the Sri Lanka Navy.

They discussed terrorism, extremism, drug-trafficking, and human-trafficking as the key non-traditional security challenges that confront littoral and landlocked countries such as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan alike. In this light, they explored potential areas of bilateral cooperation, as Afghanistan looks forward to signing with Sri Lanka a bilateral MOU on Defense Cooperation.

In his early article in The National lnterest Magazine, Ambassador Haidari discusses how "Afghanistan's Stabilization Can Ensure Maritime Security" in the greater Indo-Pacific region.

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Colombo: - The Azizi Bank of Afghanistan was presented with the Best Bank with Most Admired Service Award at the South Asian Partnership Summit and Business Excellence Awards 2019 in Colombo on November 15, 2019. 

Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari, who was a Guest of Honor at the event, received the Award on behalf of the Azizi Bank, whose delegation couldn't make it.

Over the past five years, the banking sector has seen continued reforms, under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani. This process continues, as Afghanistan strives to achieve financial and economic self-reliance.

Congratulations to the Azizi Bank on the Award!

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