State Minister of Foreign Affairs leads Sri Lanka delegation to ASEAN Regional Forum
State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake led Sri Lanka delegation to the Foreign Ministers Meeting of the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held on 7th August 2017 in Manila, the Philippines. ARF is the primary Asian forum in which members discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.
24th Meeting of the ARF is significant as it coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN. This Meeting is also significant to Sri Lanka as it celebrates the 10th Anniversary of becoming the participant of the ARF in August 2007.
27 participants of ARF namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, the United States of America, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Bangladesh, the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK), Mongolia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participated at the 24th ARF in Manila.
Delivering Sri Lanka’s statement at the Forum, State Minister Senanayake highlighted Sri Lanka’s priorities to enhance peace and security in the region including disaster management, maritime security, combatting terrorism and violent extremism, human smuggling, drug trafficking and other transnational crimes. Full text of the statement is attached.
Sri Lanka delegation also participated at the Grand Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN held in Manila on 8th August 2017. State Minister Senanayake met with the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte who was the Chief Guest at the Celebrations and extended an invitation for him to visit Sri Lanka which was warmly received.
State Minister Senanayake held a series of bilateral meetings at the sidelines of the ARF and discussed on the areas of mutual interest. He met with Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Turkey, Brunei Darussalam, Bangladesh and State Ministers of India and Myanmar. He also met with the Secretary General of the ASEAN and discussed on the details of Sri Lanka’s submission to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner with ASEAN.
State Minister Senanayake also held fruitful bilateral discussions with the Secretary of Labour and the Under Secretary of Defense of the Philippines during the visit.
Sri Lanka delegation included Hon. Buddhika Pathirana, M.P, Sri Lanka Ambassador in Manila, Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja and Director General of the East Asia & Pacific Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. O. L. Ameerajwad and Second Secretary, Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila, Mrs. Sewwandi De Silva.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
9 August 2017