Sri Lanka & Indonesia discuss Indian Ocean Security

Sri Lanka & Indonesia discuss Indian Ocean Security

Sri Lanka & Indonesia discuss Indian Ocean Security

Written by Amani Nilar

25 Sep, 2021 | 12:41 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has emphasized that Sri Lanka wishes to have greater interaction with ASEAN during a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi in New York.

The two Foreign Ministers’ discussion has focused on several key points, including the necessity to finalize the Preferential Trade Agreement between the two Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Ocean Rim Association and ASEAN.

Minister G.L. Peiris indicated that relations between the two countries as members of the nonaligned movement are critically important. He said that the NAM is relevant even today as the philosophy of NAM is not to align on every issue but to judge every issue on its own merits, and emphasized on the need to infuse more energy to this movement.

Minister Peiris also indicated that Indonesia and Sri Lanka share a keen interest in Indian Ocean security. Therefore it is necessary to further empower the Indian Ocean Rim Association and ASEAN Regional Forum.

Prof. Peiris furthermore appreciated the cooperation in defense, intelligence sharing and staff level consultations with regards to countering terrorism and other forms of maritime crimes.

He further highlighted that Sri Lanka wishes to have greater interaction with ASEAN since there are vibrant trade relations with some members of ASEAN and the potential synergy is evident. In this regard, Sri Lanka wishes to be a sectoral dialogue partner and to create a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN.

The Minister congratulated the Government of Indonesia on the remarkable success of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister also indicated the potential for enhancing tourism between the two countries.

Both Ministers agreed that there is a need to invigorate NAM and IORA to ensure effective outcomes. The Foreign Minister also agreed to visit each other’s countries at convenient times.

The Indonesian Foreign Minister emphasized that there are no bilateral issues between the two countries and hence the priority as Foreign Ministers is to strengthen bilateral relations with a special focus on economic cooperation. The Preferential Trade Agreement which is being discussed needs to be finalized in order to enhance bilateral trade.

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