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Statement by Hon. Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Agenda Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (A/HRC/46/20) 24th February 2021

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Madam President,

Madam High Commissioner,

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The OHCHR Report which is presented today, emanates from the Resolution 30/1 and 40/1, from which the Government of Sri Lanka announced its withdrawal of co-sponsorship, at the 43rd Session of this Council last year.

Sri Lanka rejects the High Commissioner’s Report which has unjustifiably broadened its scope and mandate further, incorporating many issues of governance and matters that are essentially domestic for any self-respecting, sovereign country. This is in complete violation of Article 2 (7) of the Charter of the UN that states: “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state…”

The trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendations and conclusions reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which certain elements have relentlessly pursued against Sri Lanka. These recommendations are based on ill-founded allegations.

Sri Lanka categorically rejects the conclusions and recommendations in the High Commissioner’s Report.

Joint Communiqué on the visit of H.E. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan to Sri Lanka on 23-24 February 2021

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, H.E. Imran Khan paid a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka on 23-24 February 2021.

2.  Prime Minister Imran Khan was accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising Federal Ministers and senior Government officials. This was the first visit by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Sri Lanka since the formation of the new governments in both the countries, clearly reflecting the warmth and goodwill between the governments and peoples of the two countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan received a warm ceremonial welcome by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers of Sri Lanka.    

3.  During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan held delegation-level meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka. Both sides comprehensively reviewed the multifaceted bilateral relationship in diverse fields of cooperation. The talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere, marked by mutual trust and respect. The visit afforded a timely opportunity to both sides to further build upon their close and regular consultations, particularly in the areas identified during the recently held Foreign Secretary-level Bilateral Political Consultations, Joint Economic Commission session, and the Commerce Secretaries-level Talks.

Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi calls on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Foreign Ministry

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

The visiting Pakistan Minister of Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Foreign Ministry today, 24 February 2021.

 Foreign Minister Qureshi, who accompanied Prime Minister Imran Khan in his high-level two-day official visit to Sri Lanka reassured Pakistan’s continued solidarity and support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to achieve sustainable development, economic growth, stability and prosperity. Both Ministers endorsed the notion that the relationship needs the transformation towards closer economic relations for the mutual benefit.

The two Ministers agreed to strengthen the multifaceted bilateral relationship through the ongoing commercial activities under the Pakistan Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) to achieve the desired target of US $ 1 Billion annual two-way trade. Both sides are vying to expand the bilateral trade relationship to new domains such as investments, services and finance beyond the current threshold of activities under the PSFTA.