The first round of Sri Lanka – Philippines Political Consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries concluded at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo, the Foreign Ministry said today.
Sri Lanka and the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 3 February this year to hold political consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, aimed at deepening cooperation between the two countries. The dialogue coincides with the commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year.
The Consultations focused on a range of areas of mutual interest that includes trade and economic cooperation, tourism and cultural cooperation, education and higher education, agriculture and labour migration related issues. The two sides also discussed cooperation in the areas of mutual legal assistance, transfer of sentenced persons, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Ranjith Uyangoda, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Philippines side was led by Enrique A. Manalo, Undersecretary for Policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.
Following the first round of Consultations, an Executive Programme on Cultural Cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Philippines was signed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Undersecretary for Policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.
During their visit, the Head of Delegation of the Philippines called on John Amarathunga, Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs as well as Thalatha Athukorala, Minister of Foreign Employment and discussed matters related to promotion of tourism as well as enhancement of cooperation between the two counties on labour migration related issues respectively.
Dr. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka hosted a dinner in honour of the Philippines delegation on 21 November 2016.
The Sri Lanka delegation comprised representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Employment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations.
The Philippines delegation comprised Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo, Non-Resident Ambassador of the Philippines to Sri Lanka based in Dhaka, Milicent Cruz – Paredes, Assistant Secretary, Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs, Jeffrey P. Salik, Director, South and Central Asia Division, Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs, Jonelle John S. Domingo, Principal Assistant, Office of Undersecretary for Policy and Ms. Feamor Vyn S. Tiosen, Principal Assistant, South and Central Asia Division, Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.