Forging Diplomatic Relations
In his recent visit to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, met with Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris to sign a number of significant agreements covering economics, education, defense, and technology. Both foreign ministers are confident to forge sustainable political and economic relations in sectors of defense and education. Moreover, these agreements will constitute the building blocks for cementing a bilateral economic relationship.
Dr. Rassoul is the first foreign minister from Afghanistan to visit Sri Lanka. His visit comes at a time when Afghanistan is rebuilding its infrastructure after suffering immense damage over the past decade. In this attempt, the country is looking to its regional neighbors for assistance. Development work is already underway ahead of the December 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops. During his maiden visit, Dr. Rassoul held meetings with the Sri Lankan Minister on bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of common interest.
A Memorandum of Understanding on cultural cooperation was also signed at the meeting. The Sri Lankan minister was of the view that both countries share common ideals and face similar challenges to sustain peace. Furthermore, Sri Lankan delegates were hopeful of establishing a mission in Kabul that will further bridge the diplomatic gap between the two countries. The Afghan foreign minister stated that the South Asian region will prosper once the diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka flourish.