UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan arrived in Sri Lanka today (Oct. 10) for a three-day visit.

The visit, which is Minister Trevelyan’s first to Sri Lanka in her role, marks the celebration of 75 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Sri Lanka, the UK High Commission in Colombo said in a press release.

Minister Trevelyan has emphasized the UK’s long-term commitment to the region at the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Ministerial hosted by Sri Lanka.

She has also sought to strengthen IORA’s work on climate mitigation. Through collaborative programmes that underpin biodiversity objectives and the Glasgow Pact (agreed upon at COP26), the Minister highlighted UK support for Sri Lanka’s environmental work. This builds on the UK’s strong track record as the first major economy to legislate for Net Zero, cutting carbon emissions faster than any other G7 country.

Indo-Pacific Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “As the UK celebrates 75 years of diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka, we’re working together on climate action, peacebuilding and human rights. “Through key regional forums like IORA, we can accelerate progress towards enhanced security for the Indian Ocean region, collaborate on shared climate goals and on boosting maritime security.”

While in Colombo, Minister Trevelyan is meeting with members of the Sri Lankan government including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry as well as businesses and civil society. Discussions will focus on climate finance and green growth, bilateral trade discussions, human rights, justice reform and opportunities to enhance UK-Sri Lanka diplomatic ties.

During her meeting with Minister Sabry, Minister Trevelyan exchanged views on IORA’s priorities and fostering greater collaboration for regional prosperity. Minister Sabry has briefed her on the reform process of the Sri Lankan government.

Travelling to Jaffna, in the Northern Province, Trevelyan will meet with Governor P.S.M. Charles and regional parliamentarians, civil society and the local business community. She will visit a land mine clearance site in Muhamalai to see demining and sustainable resettlement work which is supported through the UK’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF).

Following her engagements in Sri Lanka, the Minister will travel to India as part of a wider trip to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, the UK High Commission said further.