MFA Press Statement: Introductory Visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 17 to 20 July 2017
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an introductory visit to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka from 17 to 20 July 2017. Minister Balakrishnan visited Colombo and Jaffna.
In Colombo, Minister Balakrishnan called on President Maithripala Sirisena and was hosted to dinner by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Minister Balakrishnan met Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka and Leader of the Opposition Rajavarothiam Sampanthan. During the meetings with Sri Lankan leaders, Minister Balakrishnan reaffirmed the warm and growing relations between Singapore and Sri Lanka, and discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation. Minister Balakrishnan underscored the importance of the expeditious conclusion of the Sri Lanka � Singapore Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Minister Karunanayake hosted Minister Balakrishnan and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop to a joint breakfast meeting, where they discussed trade, investment and connectivity initiatives across the Indian Ocean. Minister Balakrishnan also witnessed the signing of a MOU between the Singapore Red Cross and the Sri Lankan Red Cross on relief and rehabilitation programmes in Sri Lanka.
In Jaffna, Minister Balakrishnan met Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray and Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran. During the meetings, Minister Balakrishnan expressed support for Sri Lanka’s development and national reconciliation process. As part of Singapore’s contribution, Minister Balakrishnan participated in a handover ceremony for a donation of books from the Singapore National Library Board to the Jaffna Public Library and officiated the launch of a Lee Foundation-SingHealth Orthopaedic Development Programme at the University of Jaffna.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore