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* Sri Lanka to seek observer status in CICA during President's visit to Kazakhstan
Thu, Nov 15, 2012, 08:21 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka has decided to seek observer status in the multi-national forum, Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which is formed in 1992 for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Wednesday approved a proposal made by Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris to seek observer status in the diverse organization.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will announce Sri Lanka's intention to join the CICA during his visit to Kazakhstan on November 20th.

The organization, formed on an initiative of Kazakhstan President in 1992, currently has 24 member countries of central Asia, Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. India and Pakistan are also among the member states while Bangladesh is an observer.

International Organizations such as UN, League of Arab States and several other countries including USA, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia have obtained observer status.

During President's visit to Astana, Sri Lanka will enter into an agreement with Kazakhstan on cooperation in the field of tourism between the two countries. The cabinet has granted approval to a proposal put forward by the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to sign and ratify the agreement for cooperation in the tourism sector.

The proposed agreement will enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries and strengthen the tourism flow in to Sri Lanka and open new avenue for trade and investments, the government said.

Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan in May this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand the bilateral relations between the two countries and hold regular consultations between the Ministries of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

The first round of annual bilateral consultations between the two countries was held in September at the Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo and during the meeting the two countries have discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation further in the political, economic, cultural, and scientific and the educational fields.

Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan on June 29, 1992.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan sign MoU to enhance bilateral cooperation



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