Afghanistan calls on Sri Lanka to reconstitute ASPFA

Afghanistan has called on Sri Lanka to reconstitute the Afghanistan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association (ASPFA).

Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari called on Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, and congratulated him on the victory of his party in August’s general elections and his subsequent appointment as the new Speaker.

The Ambassador reviewed with the Speaker the status of fast-growing bilateral relations, while discussing numerous opportunities for the further expansion of multifaceted ties between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

In this light, Ambassador Haidari recalled with gratitude the support of the former Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, who worked with the Ambassador to launch the Afghanistan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association (ASPFA) in March 2019. He requested that ASPFA be reconstituted under the new Parliament, which Speaker Abeywardana warmly welcomed and offered his full support to do so.

“As two democracies in South Asia, the legislative partnership and friendship between the Parliaments of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will go a long way in further deepening people-to-people ties between our two nations with a shared heritage and many converging interests, which encompass political, security, economic, and social spheres of win-win cooperation,” Ambassador Haidari commented.

He thanked the Secretary-General of the Sri Lankan Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake, who was present in the meeting, for the expert advice and guidance he provided to the Afghan Parliament in 2005 when efforts were made to construct a new building for the Parliament in Kabul.

Moreover, Ambassador Haidari informed the Speaker of the Afghan Parliament having formed their Friendship Association with a matching leadership and membership composition of their Sri Lankan counterpart, standing ready to begin fruitful exchanges as soon as possible.

The Ambassador invited a legislative delegation to visit Afghanistan as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, as both sides look forward to re-launching the ASPFA soon. (Colombo Gazette)