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Thursday, 20 December 2012

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Resident missions in Kabul, Colombo soon

The Afghan and Sri Lankan governments decided to open resident missions in Kabul and Colombo in the near future.

External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris with Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Zalmai Rassoul in Colombo yesterday

External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris soon after entering agreements in the fields of economic, education, scientific and technical cooperation and MoU in the field of cultural cooperation with Afghanistan Foreign Minister Dr Zalmai Rassoul in Colombo yesterday, told the media that diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan would be further strengthened with the establishment of resident diplomatic missions between the two countries.

The minister said it was the first time an Afghan Foreign Minister visited Sri Lanka.

"This is a historical event and it will lead to even closer ties between the two countries," he said.

"I am aware of the close rapport between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Both countries are on common positions on most international issues, be it Human Rights, terrorism, eradication of poverty and globalisation. Sri Lanka after ending the 30 year conflict has now accelerated economic and social development. Both countries have become emerging nations. Therefore, these agreements will help advance and strengthen close cooperation in political, trade, economic, cultural, scientific and technological fields of the two countries," Prof Peiris said.

Dr Rassoul said it was honour to visit Sri Lanka.

"I hope this opportunity would pave the way to further consolidate bilateral ties between the two countries," he said.

"Afghanistan is a democratic country and fighting against terrorism. We have a process of reconciliation in Afghanistan. The country's hope is for a brighter and more prosperous future," he said.

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