October 26, 2020
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    Egyptian Ambassador discusses regional and bilateral cooperation with Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena

    September 19, 2020

    Minister of Foreign Relations Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena received H.E. Hussein El Saharty, Ambassador of Egypt, on 16 September for a cordial discussion on matters of mutual interest to both countries.

    Ambassador El Saharty congratulated Hon. Gunawardena on assuming his position and handed over the original greeting letter addressed to him by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He also praised the positions and efforts exerted by the new Sri Lankan leadership and government, especially in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and in asserting Sri Lanka’s national independence and sovereignty.

    Discussion focused on reviving and enhancing the historic relations between Sri Lanka and Egypt in all aspects, noting that Egypt was the first African and Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka in 1957. It has been highlighted that bilateral relations have gained a remarkable momentum since President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed office in November 2019, as the first round of bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries was held in Cairo in December 2019.

    During the COVID-19 crisis, both countries showed keen interest in maintaining and even increasing the flow of bilateral trade with significant success. EgyptAir Cargo landed in Colombo for the first time in August 2020 opening up immense opportunities for enhancing bilateral trade. Hon. Gunawardena and Ambassador El Saharty agreed that as both countries are currently facing the same set of threats and challenges in terms of extremism, economic hardships post COVID-19 closures, attempts to revive tourism, climate change, drug and human trafficking, illegal migration and all forms of transnational organized crimes, closer cooperation and coordination is needed at this critical juncture.

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