Aug 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka expects a productive outcome and new initiatives to emerge from the next South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit scheduled to take place in November 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Sri Lankan government expressed its intention to take the initiative in developing a circuit to promote cultural and religious connectivity within the SAARC region in consultation with the other Member States, at a suitable SAARC forum, when the new Secretary General of the SAARC Arjun B. Thapa met with Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris today (August 14) at the Ministry.
As a part of the introductory visits to SAARC Member States, the new Secretary General is currently visiting Sri Lanka.
Congratulating Mr. Thapa on his appointment as the 12th Secretary General of SAARC, Minister Peiris acknowledged the profound knowledge that Secretary General possessed on international relations which would be beneficial to the advancement of SAARC.
Prof. Peiris mentioned that the Government of Sri Lanka will also conduct a SAARC Youth Conclave at a suitable SAARC forum.
The discussion also focused on the current status of areas of regional cooperation under the purview of SAARC with a special emphasis on the SAARC Development Fund, its benefit to the region, issues pertaining to SAFTA and engagement with SAARC Observer States.
During his stay in Sri Lanka, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th August in Kandy and held discussions with the Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne on 12th August at the Ministry in Colombo.