The 11th Inter-Parliamentary consultations between Sri Lanka and the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia of the European Parliament (DSAS) were convened on 31 October, 2023 at the Sri Lanka Parliamentary premises.  

A multi-party delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, M.U.M. Ali Sabry, MP participated in an interactive discussion with the visiting EU delegation led by Heidi HAUTALA Finnish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the group of the Greens who is also Vice-President and the Rapporteur for New GSP Regulation of the European Parliament.

The discussion centered on matters related to bilateral cooperation in the context of further consolidating ties between the two legislatures. Sri Lanka side apprised the MEPs of the current economic and political developments in the country and also on overall progress in reconciliation and human rights situation including proposed Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). The EU Co-chair HAUTALA welcomed progress in EU – Sri Lanka bilateral relations and briefed on issues of importance to the EU such as new climate friendly regulations being adopted in the EU (European Green Deal), Ukraine conflict, inflation in the European region and future EU integration. 

The Sri Lanka delegation also highlighted the importance of GSP+ concessions which provides duty free access for Sri Lanka’s exports to the EU market and requested support of the European Parliament for continued access to the concessions.

The State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya, and eight (08) MPs representing the Government and the Opposition parties of Sri Lanka, including theSri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP), the Samagi Jana Balawegaya(SJB) and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi(ITAK) participated in the meeting.

The visiting delegation also comprised Zdzislaw Marek KRASNODEBSKI Polish MEP from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), Karsten LUCKE German MEP from Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S & D), and Ausra MALDEIKIENE Lithuanian MEP from the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats/EPP).

Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, and officials from the EU Delegation in Colombo were also associated with the meeting.

Via Ministry of Foreign Affairs