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Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane meets German State Secretary Thomas Bagger

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Secretary of Foreign Affairs Aruni Wijewardane met her counterpart, State Secretary Thomas Bagger of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on September 27. Also present at the meeting were Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany Varuni Muthukumarana and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting took place when the two countries are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties.

At the outset, State Secretary Bagger welcomed the meeting with Foreign Secretary Wijewardane and stressed that this meeting would pave the way for new avenues for future cooperation.

Referring to the excellent relations that exist between Sri Lanka and Germany, Foreign Secretary Wijewardane appreciated the German assistance in enabling Sri Lankan businesses, particularly SMEs to gain better access to international markets. She stressed that Sri Lanka is looking for more prospects in the German market for healthcare workers and export of ICT services on a sustainable basis. The two sides also discussed furthering of vocational training education in Sri Lanka.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane expressed appreciation for Germany’s longstanding development cooperation partnership with Sri Lanka, and requested continuation of direct development aid, taking note of the present economic situation in the country. She also appreciated the assistance extended to Sri Lanka in diverse fields by German Foundations, including Frederick Naumann Foundation.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane apprised State Secretary Bagger of Sri Lanka’s recent progress in stabilising the economy and emphasised the ongoing efforts to achieve reconciliation through domestic mechanisms. She appreciated the significant role played by the Paris Club, including Germany, in Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring process.

The two sides also discussed the significance of the Indo-Pacific region, and future collaboration, specifically under the framework of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), to be chaired by Sri Lanka for two years from October 2023.

Both sides agreed on the importance of convening the bilateral political consultations at the Foreign Secretary level on a regular basis, to identify priority areas for future cooperation.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane was a member of the official delegation accompanying President Ranil Wickremesinghe during his working visit to Germany from September 27-30, when the President held discussions with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and addressed the inaugural Berlin Global Dialogue.

The post Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane meets German State Secretary Thomas Bagger appeared first on DailyNews.

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