|FM warns of people falling victim to EU's GSP+ conditionalities|
|Friday, 26 September 2008 20:23|
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama observed that Sri Lanka is vigorously pursuing a post conflict development programme in the Eastern province aimed at empowering the people who have long been victims of terrorism and it is unfortunate that the European Commission is seeking to limit market access for her exports at this juncture, during his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Markos Kyprianou.
Minister Bogollagama briefed the Cypriot Foreign Minister on the application for extension of the GSP plus facility to Sri Lanka. He particularly mentioned that the real victims of conditionalities for market access would be the people and it would be unfortunate if they are consequently deprived of their livelihood. The Cypriot Foreign Minister stated that his Government’s policy is that political issues should not be linked with trade and economic facilitation where the real beneficiaries were the people. The two ministers recalled the long standing cooperation and continuing close dialogue Sri Lanka has been maintaining with all EU partners.
The two Ministers agreed to exchange high-level visits to further enhance the existing multi-faceted relationship. In this context, reference was made to the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to Cyprus. Minister Bogollagama extended an invitation to his counterpart to visit Sri Lanka along with a business delegation with view to enhancing economic ties. The two ministers noted the need to conclude early the two Agreements on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Investment Promotion and Protection. They acknowledged recent initiatives to strengthen connectivity through conclusion of the Air Services Agreement and promotion of tourism.It was noted that a large number of Sri Lankans are gainfully employed in Cyprus and they discussed prospects for further employment opportunities especially in the present context of Cyprus being a member of the EU.
Minister Bogollagama also briefed his Cypriot counterpart on the threats posed by the separatist terrorist agenda of the LTTE and the successes of the Sri Lankan Government in countering these challenges. He also referred to the fund raising and networking by the LTTE and its front organizations in Europe. They also discussed recent initiatives of the Colombo SAARC Summit.
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN
26th September 2008