Colombo: - Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari called on the Honorable Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minsiter of Sri Lanka, on March 14, 2019. The Ambassador conveyed to the Honorable Prime Minister the warm greetings of H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, following which they discussed a range of issues of bilateral interest aimed at further expanding multifaceted ties between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Ambassador Haidari briefed the Honorable Prime Minister on the overall situation in Afghanistan, including the imposed war, the peace process, as well as Afghanistan's numerous democratic achievements of the past 17 years, which need to be consolidated and sustained.
"There are many areas where Sri Lanka and Afghanistan should cooperate further, and I strongly encourage any efforts and steps to be taken towards that direction," commented the Honorable Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. "Since presenting my credentials to His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena last November, we have striven to help implement the key objectives of several bilateral MOUs and agreements, and I look forward to your continued, strong support to see our bilteral ties further grow in the coming years," Ambassador Haidari told the Honorable Prime Minister.
Moreoever, they discussed the status of bilateral trade, as Ambassador Haidari highlighted numerous business and investment opportunities in Afghanistan, which he said he had recently discussed with the Sri Lankan Chambers of Commerce. In addition, they discussed opportunities for cooperation to learn from Sri Lanka's war-to-peace-transition experience, inviting a delegation from the Afghanistan High Peace Council to visit Colombo for meetings on Sri Lanka's ongoing peacebuilding programs with a focus on reconciliation and reintegration.
Ambassador Haidari also highlighted the importance of creating a youth exchange program whereby Afghan and Sri Lankan youth engage in mutually beneficial activies in arts, cinema, and policy debates with relevance to sustainable development goals with a focus on addressing the common needs of youth in South Asia.