KABUL (Pajhwok): Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of a political consultation mechanism between their ministries of foreign affairs.
Afghan Ambassador Mohammad Ashraf Haidari and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena signed the MoU on Thursday.
Under the MoU, the two sides will hold regular political consultations at the senior most level of the two ministries. Discussions will be held on longer-term cooperation on matters of mutual interest in fields of politics, security, economic, culture, education, health people-to-people contacts and human resource development.
Haidari and Gunawardena delivered remarks, underscoring their firm commitment to the expansion of the growing Afghanistan-Sri Lanka relations.
Gunawardena reiterated Sri Lanka’s consistent condemnation of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, calling for a peaceful end to the conflict that daily costs innocent lives.
“I wish to convey the sincere gratitude of Afghanistan’s leadership to the government of Sri Lanka for your principled support for the Afghan peace process and President Ghani’s tireless and result-driven efforts to end the war imposed on our country and to achieve sustainable peace as a top need and demand of every Afghan, said Haidari.
The ambassador took note of the fact that although the global COVID19 pandemic had slowed the pace of global cooperation, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka had made steady progress in further deepening their relationship.
He referred to the signing of a cooperation deal between the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in September.
“Indeed, the strong friendship and partnership between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka rest on a solid foundation of mutual respect, understanding, and benefit. And this is underpinned by our cherished, shared heritage.”
The Buddha statues in Bamyan province spoke to the ancient civilisational bonds tying the ‘Jewel of the Indian Ocean,’ Sri Lanka and the ‘Heart of Asia — Afghanistan,” Haidari remarked.
The ambassador said his key goals included creating and facilitating full-spectrum connectivity and cooperation between the two nations.
“And it is in this spirit of fraternity with Sri Lanka that I am most delighted to have just signed with the foreign minister the MOU on the establishment of a political consultation mechanism between our two Ministries of Foreign Affairs today,” he noted.