The First Session of Foreign Office Consultations between Sri Lanka and Switzerland was concluded today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo.
The formal, but inclusive bilateral engagement followed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘Foreign Office Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation’ in March 2016.
The MoU provides a platform for regular and more structured review of the longstanding bilateral relations and dialogue between the two countries.
A wide range of substantive matters were addressed, with a review of areas of mutual collaboration and on-going programmes in the political, economic, security and social sectors.
Continuing Swiss assistance on matters such as migration, security, reconciliation and peacebuilding was also discussed. The two sides stressed the importance of continuing to work together at regional and multilateral fora, thus advancing shared positions on mutually important issues.
The Sri Lankan delegation was led by A.L.A. Azeez, Actg. Additional Secretary, European Union, Commonwealth and Multilateral Treaties & Political Affairs (West) of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Swiss delegation by Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, Assistant State Secretary and Head of Asia Pacific Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.
The Swiss delegation included senior officials from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs of Switzerland, while the Sri Lankan delegation comprised senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Employment, the Department of Immigration and Emigration and other institutions.
It was agreed that the Second Session of Foreign Office Consultations between Sri Lanka and Switzerland would be held in mid 2018 in Switzerland.