|SAARC Secretary General pays an official visit to Sri Lanka|
|Thursday, 11 September 2008 12:38|
The Secretary General of SAARC, Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, who is on a special visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, called on him at the Ministry on 11 September 2008. The Minister discussed with Dr. Sharma the work ahead for Sri Lanka, as the SAARC Chair and the modalities by which the decisions taken at the recently concluded 15th Colombo Summit are to be implemented.
The Secretary General thereafter briefed the Foreign Minister on the responsibilities of the SAARC Chair. He emphasised the need to push ahead the decisions of the Colombo Declaration and highlighted the importance of Sri Lanka to give leadership in holding scheduled SAARC Meetings. In this regard, he noted that five ministerial meetings are to be hosted by Sri Lanka during her Chair, the first of which would be the Meeting of Transport Ministers to be held before the end of this year. The other ministerial meetings are related to Parliamentary Affairs, Energy, Women & Children, and Education. Apart from these ministerial meetings, Sri Lanka will be chairing the SAARC Council of Ministers Meeting in New York on 29 September, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Sessions. Minister Bogollagama stated that he would seek early ratification by member states of the four instruments signed during the Colombo Summit. Of particular importance would be the SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, which would give a further impetus in the collective fight against terrorism.
The SAARC Secretary General Dr. Sharma pledged his fullest cooperation to work very closely with Sri Lanka, as the current Chair of SAARC in achieving the deliverable targets as envisaged in the Colombo Declaration for the benefit of the peoples of the region.
Dr. Sharma was accompanied at the meeting by Mr. Vinay Mohan Kwatra Director for India at the SAARC Secretariat. Foreign Secretary, Dr. Palitha Kohona, and senior officials of the Ministry were present at the meeting.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11 September 2008