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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2760

Strengthening relationship between Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso

Colombo, 07 April, (Asiantribune.com):

Strengthening friendly relations between Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso, a six member delegation headed by Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso, Djibrill Yipéné Bassolé arrived in Sri Lanka on 3rd April 2013 on a three-day official visit.

The Burkina Faso delegation included Burkina Faso Ambassador for Sri Lanka, resident in New Delhi, Idriss Raoua Ouedraogo, Director of the Minister’s Cabinet Amadou Dicko, Director-General for Bilateral Relations Gnama Henri Bacye, Head of Asia Pacific Division Binta Kargougou, Director/Asia, Pacific and Middle East Fatoumata Ouedraogo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso.

Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso established formal diplomatic relations on 15th November 2012 paving the way to enhance relations in political, economic and cultural spheres of cooperation. The very first Burkina Faso Ambassador to Sri Lanka with residence in New Delhi, Idriss Raoua Ouedraogo presented his credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 20th December 2012.

Minister Bassolé paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 04th April and expressed his extreme satisfaction on Sri Lanka’s stability and the reconciliation process. He further highlighted the fervent wish of Burkina Faso to share Sri Lanka’s experience in combating terrorism and ensuring security. He emphasized the need of having robust South-South cooperation. Minister Bassolé reiterated Burkina Faso’s commitment to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

During the meeting with Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dallas Alahapperuma, Minister Bassolé expressed his keen interest for sharing Sri Lanka’s expertise for skills development and training of their youth by way of Youth Exchange Programmes and on the job training facilities available in Sri Lanka.

Minister Bassolé also met Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake and discussed on future cooperation in the field of higher education. As a goodwill gesture, Sri Lanka offered few scholarships to the Government of Burkina Faso in various fields.

Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Minister Bassolé discussed on future cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, agriculture, irrigation etc. Minister Rajapaksa agreed to train Burkina Faso students in Sri Lankan Hotel schools and to exchange business delegations in specified areas suggested by Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso wishes to share Sri Lanka’s experience in sufficiency economy and rural development programmes. As Burkina Faso is a country rich with gold reserves, Sri Lanka agreed to assist in the field of gem and jewellery.

Sri Lanka’s trade with Burkina Faso has shown large increases during the period 2009 to 2011. Sri Lanka’s major exports to Burkina Faso in 2010 were tea and apparel items. Sri Lanka’s imports from Burkina Faso over the years have been negligible.

During the bilateral discussions at the External Affairs Ministry on 05th April, 2013, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris reiterated Sri Lanka’s appreciation to the Government of Burkina Faso for abstaining in the vote against Sri Lanka during at the 19th as well as the 22nd UNHRC Sessions held at Geneva in 2012 and 2013.

After elaborating on the current socio-economic developments in Sri Lanka, Prof. Peiris highlighted the value of the exchange of high level business delegations between the two countries in order to strengthen business links and promote trade. Prof. Peiris stated that Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso adhere to NAM principles and remain active members of the G15 and G77 and hence co-operation in the multilateral fora between the two countries is very cordial and constructive. He also emphasized the importance of the exchange of Parliamentarians as well as collaborations between Universities of the two countries.

Minister Bassolé re-assured his Government’s strong commitment for deepening and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. He appreciated Sri Lanka’s leadership and the government for the commitment on reconciliation and socio-economic development. He expressed solidarity with the Government of Sri Lanka and expressed sincere congratulations for the victory over terrorist elements after a 30 year war.

He further stated that Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso have enormous potential due to Free Trade Agreements, which offer many opportunities in terms of exports and investment. He added that Burkina Faso has significant capital in agricultural and mining resources. He said that the tertiary sector which occupies an important place in Sri Lanka is booming in Burkina Faso as well and could lead to a sharing of experiences. Minister Bassolé extended an invitation to Prof. Peiris to visit his country to further enhance bilateral cooperation.

After their discussions, the two Ministers signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso and the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka.

During his visit, Minister Bassolé also met Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary/ Defence and Urban Development. His delegation visited the Galle Fort Museum and the Vocational & Technical Training Institute at Maradana.

Sri Lanka intends to open a resident Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria soon and to concurrently accredit Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Abuja to Burkina Faso.

- Asian Tribune -

 Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso, Djibrill Yipéné Bassolé with Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris
Strengthening relationship between Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso
Strengthening relationship between Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso
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