Sri Lanka and Indonesia discuss Indian Ocean security and counter terrorism
Speaking during bilateral discussions in New York with Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi emphasized that there are no bilateral issues between the two countries and hence the priority as Foreign Ministers is to strengthen bilateral relations with a special focus on economic cooperation.
Further, it was discussed that the Preferential Trade Agreement needs to be finalised in order to enhance bilateral trade.
Minister Peiris indicated that relations between the two countries as members of the nonaligned movement are critically important.
He also indicated that Indonesia and Sri Lanka share a keen interest in Indian Ocean security. Therefore it is necessary to further empower the Indian Ocean Rim Association and ASEAN Regional Forum.
The Sri Lankan FM appreciated the cooperation in defence, intelligence sharing and staff level consultations with regards to countering terrorism and other forms of maritime crimes.
He highlighted that Sri Lanka wishes to have greater interaction with ASEAN since there are vibrant trade relations with some members of ASEAN and the potential synergy is evident.
"In this regard, Sri Lanka wishes to be a sectoral dialogue partner and to create a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN."
FM Peiris congratulated the Government of Indonesia on the remarkable success of combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also indicated the potential for enhancing tourism between the two countries.
Both Ministers agreed that there is a need to invigorate NAM and IORA to ensure effective outcomes.