Sri Lanka, Indonesia discuss Indian Ocean security
COLOMBO (News 1st): Foreign Minister Professor GL Peiris stressed that Sri Lanka wants to have more interaction with ASEAN during a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi in New York.
The discussion between the two foreign ministers focused on several key points, including the need to finalize the Preferential Trade Agreement between the two Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Ocean Rim Association and ASEAN.
Minister GL Peiris said relations between the two countries as members of the non-aligned movement are of crucial importance. He said NAM is relevant even today because NAM’s philosophy is not to align with every issue but to judge every issue on its own merits, and stressed the need to inject more energy. to this movement.
Minister Peiris also indicated that Indonesia and Sri Lanka share a keen interest in the security of the Indian Ocean. Therefore, there is a need to further strengthen the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Professor Peiris further appreciated the cooperation in defense, intelligence sharing and consultation at the staff level with regard to the fight against terrorism and other forms of maritime crime.
He further pointed out that Sri Lanka wishes to have more interaction with ASEAN as there are dynamic trade relations with some members of ASEAN and the potential synergy is evident. In this regard, Sri Lanka wishes to be a sector dialogue partner and build a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN.
The Minister congratulated the Indonesian government on the remarkable success in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister also indicated the potential for improving tourism between the two countries.
The two ministers agreed that it is necessary to reinvigorate NAM and IORA to ensure effective results. The Foreign Minister has also agreed to visit each other’s countries at convenient times.
The Indonesian Foreign Minister stressed that there were no bilateral problems between the two countries and that the priority of the foreign ministers was therefore to strengthen bilateral relations with special emphasis on economic cooperation. The preferential trade agreement which is under discussion must be finalized in order to improve bilateral trade.