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SAARC New Secretary General Meets Minister of External Affairs
14 Aug 2014

As a part of the introductory visits to SAARC Member States, the new Secretary General of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Arjun B. Thapa, is currently visiting Sri Lanka.

During his stay in Sri Lanka, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th August in Kandy and held discussions with the Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne on 12th August at the Ministry in Colombo.

The Secretary General called on the Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris today, 14th August at the Ministry.  Congratulating Mr.Thapa on his appointment as the 12th Secretary General of SAARC, Minister Peiris acknowledged the profound knowledge that Secretary General possessed on international relations which would be beneficial to the advancement of SAARC.  The Minister also stated that Sri Lanka expects a productive outcome and new initiatives to emerge from the next SAARC summit scheduled to take place in November 2014 in Kathmandu.

Prof. Peiris mentioned that the Government of Sri Lanka will conduct a SAARC Youth Conclave and will take the initiative in developing a circuit to promote cultural and religious connectivity within the SAARC region in consultation with the other Member States, at a suitable SAARC forum.

The discussion also focussed on the current status of areas of regional cooperation under the purview of SAARC with a special emphasis on the SAARC Development Fund, its benefit to the region, issues pertaining to SAFTA and engagement with SAARC Observer States.

Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs and the Director General of the SAARC Division Mrs. Damayanthie Rajapakse were present at the meeting. (HC)

News S.LK