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* External Affairs Minister meets Sri Lankan Ambassadors in the Gulf
Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 12:42 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris has participated in a regional workshop held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday for the Sri Lankan envoys in the in Middle Eastern countries.

Addressing the event, the Minister explained that the purpose of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for intense interaction with Heads of Mission in these countries on objectives and priorities with regard to their work, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The Minister referred to the importance of the region to Sri Lanka in terms of international collaboration and economic issues including trade, investment, employment opportunities and tourism.

He said that, with Sri Lanka's rapidly growing relationship with these countries in each of these fields, it is crucial to define targets with time frames and to have continuing assessment of progress. Minister Peiris set out what the government expected from its embassies in each of these countries within the next year and appropriate modalities to achieve these goals.

The discussion centered on an overview of activities carried out by each of the Missions, as well as labor and employment promotion and consular issues.

A systematic programme for implementation of the proposals made was formulated.

Namal Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament, also participated in the roundtable discussion with the envoys.

Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya, Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. A.S. Nakandala, Ambassador in Iraq, Mr. M.F. Razeen, Ambassador in Iran, Mr. Gamini Rajapaksa, Ambassador in Jordan, Mr. Jayantha Palipane, Ambassador in Qatar, and Mr. Sarath Wijesinghe, Ambassador in Israel, made presentations in respect of their work. This was followed by a discussion on strengths and challenges, and the way ahead.

After the full day workshop, Prof. Peiris and Mr. Rajapaksa met informally with the Sri Lankan community in the U.A.E.

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