-  Friday 23 March 2018

Sri Lanka, Nepal to expand bilateral relations

 -  Ceylon Daily News

July 02 2007 - Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is visiting Nepal at the invitation of the Nepal Foreign Minister Ms. Sahana Pradan.

The visit coincides with the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Nepal, which fell on 1 July, 2007.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka together with the Government of Nepal has organized a series of activities to celebrate the golden jubilee anniversary. The celebrations commenced with a issue of a commemorative postal stamp, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Minister during his stay in Kathmandu called on Minister Pradan and held bilateral consultations. During the consultations the two Ministers agreed to expand the existing Trade Agreement to include Trade in services and other Social segments for promotion between the two countries.

In this regard the two countries will work on finalizing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Regarding on going negotiations between the aviation authorities of Sri Lanka and Nepal the Ministers expressed satisfaction and optimism that during the next round of talks to be held in Colombo on 16-17 July, the two countries could conclude an agreement.

This would result in Sri Lankan Airlines commencing flights between Colombo and Kathmandu during the golden jubilee year of diplomatic relations. The meeting also focused on completion of the construction work of the Sri Lanka Monastery and the Pilgrims’ Rest in Lumbini.

The Sri Lanka Minister who is scheduled to visit Lumbini to inspect the projects assured the Nepali Minister that the two facilities will be operational very soon.

Minister Bogollagama agreed to assist Nepal in the field of heritage management and archaeology.

They underscored the need to develop the cooperation in the area of tourism between the two countries.

It was decided to enter into a bilateral Protocol to bring together the tourism authorities of Sri Lanka and Nepal to prepare a Programme of action to develop and promote joint Tourism packages, collaborative activities, investment in tourism Infrastructure and sharing of experiences and expertise.

Sri Lanka offered to provide training assistance to Nepal in the fields of inland fisheries, tea research and city cleaning systems.

Minister Bogollagama said Sri Lanka would grant annual undergraduate scholarships to Nepali students in the areas of Urban Planning, Humanities and Archaeology.

The Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and Nepal expressed hope that the proposals and decisions made during the bilateral consultations especially the proposed air connectivity and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will open a new chapter in the diplomatic relations between the two countries for the mutual economic benefit of the peoples.

Source: Ceylon Daily News

Other articles by reporter Ceylon Daily News

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