Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris welcomed the constructive, cordial and regular engagement between Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU) in a meeting with a five-member delegation from the EU on Friday 1 October 2021 at the Foreign Ministry. The EU mission to Sri Lanka was led by Senior Advisor, Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission Nikolaos Zaimis, and Head of Division for South Asia of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos. The meeting entailed discussion on EU – Sri Lanka cooperation and Sri Lanka’s engagement with the EU on matters of relevance.
In the discussion, Foreign Minster Peiris apprised the EU delegation, inter alia, on progress in reconciliation, review of Prevention of Terrorism Act, engagement with civil society, SDG 16 initiative, and Sri Lanka’s cooperation in the Human Rights Council.
The Foreign Minister observed that Sri Lanka’s relations with the EU are wide ranging and mutually beneficial, including in the spheres of economic and development cooperation. The EU being Sri Lanka’s second largest export destination (in 2020), the Foreign Minister highlighted the positive contribution of EU GSP plus benefits in upgrading the livelihoods of communities in the country.
In discussions with the Minister, the EU delegation welcomed the multifaceted engagement between Sri Lanka and the EU, and reassured of continued cooperation.
During the visit, the EU delegation participated in meetings related to the EU – Sri Lanka Joint Commission process and the EU GSP plus Third Cycle of Review process (2020/2021). The meetings were attended by a broad range of stakeholders from Government comprising over 30 line agencies.
The delegation comprised senior officials from the European Commission and the EEAS, and the visit was part of Sri Lanka’s ongoing and regular engagement with the EU. The mission also met other senior interlocutors in Government during the visit. The Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Colombo Denis Chaibi, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and senior officials of the Foreign Ministry participated in the meeting.
01 October 2021