Government says it has re-balanced its foreign policy

16The Government says it has re-balanced its foreign policy so that Sri Lanka can now have excellent ties with its neighbour India, in addition to the traditional friends such as China, the US, EU and Japan.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera says after several years Sri Lanka had Joint Commissions with India and the EU.

He also noted that Sri Lanka and the US formalized their partnership for the first time in the form of a Partnership Dialogue.

“Our relations with China remain strong and I am in fact going from Sydney to Beijing to join Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who is paying an official visit to China, Samaraweera said.

The Foreign Minister was speaking at a lunch meeting with Business Leaders and Parliamentarians in Australia.

“We are in the process of collaborating with our partners, including Australia, in countering violent extremism, securing Sri Lanka’s vast maritime area which is nearly five times that size of its landmass and protecting Indian Ocean shipping routes from piracy,” he said at the lunch meeting.

The Minister said that Sri Lanka looks forward to working closely with Australia to ensure the maritime security of the Indian Ocean as both parties are committed to ensuring freedom of navigation and a rules-based international order.

Samaraweera also said that for the first time since Independence there is tremendous hope that the vision for a democratic, truly united, peaceful and prosperous country can be achieved.

“This is because the two main political parties that have opposed each other from independence have joined together, for the first time in history, in a grand coalition so that they can collectively address these long-standing issues once and for all,” he added.

The Minister said that the coming years will not only see political stability but macro-policy stability as well, despite the usual day-to-day complexities of coalition Government. (Colombo Gazette)

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