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​​​​​​​CICA Secretary General's inaugural visit to Colombo strengthens partnerships and collaboration

22 February 2024 – Colombo – Secretary General of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Ambassador Kairat Sarybay paid his first visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka since the country became a Member State in 2018.

K. Sarybay convened with Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable M.U.M. Ali Sabry and conducted consultations with senior officials from the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka. Moreover, he participated in discussions with members of the CICA Think Tank Forum and Business Council representing Sri Lanka, along with officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Lands, underlining the significance of collaborative efforts within the CICA framework.

During the meeting with Minister Ali Sabry, K. Sarybay expressed gratitude for Sri Lanka's continuous support for the CICA process and provided insights into CICA's achievements and prospects. Discussions centered around the transformation efforts and forthcoming ministerial events, including the 7th Ministerial Council Meeting, the Youth Council’s Minister-level meeting along with the Rally of Volunteer Movements Leaders, the Ministerial Conference on Environmental Issues and other key initiatives outlined by the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Sixth CICA Summit.

In light of this, Hon. M.U.M. Ali Sabry noted the intended opening of Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Mission in Kazakhstan as a tool to enhance cooperation with CICA, expressed commitment to intensify Sri Lanka’s activities within the Organization, including the encouragement to expedite signing and ratifying the Convention on the privileges and immunities of the Secretariat, and emphasized efforts to address climate change as a top priority for Sri Lanka, as well as Colombo's efforts to enhance tourist appeal.

Key items on the CICA agenda were discussed during the Secretary General’s bilateral consultations with Mr. U.L.M. Jauhar, Additional Secretary for Multilateral and Middle East Affairs, and Ms. Sashikala Premawardhane, Director General of the Southeast and Central Asia Division of the Foreign Ministry. These talks focused on updating the colleagues on the transformation efforts and other key priorities of the Chairmanship, including upcoming events. The conversation also covered ways to engage Sri Lanka in implementing CICA’s CBMs as a co-coordinator of the tourism priority area, as well to enhance the country’s participation in CICA’s advisory bodies.



An insightful exchange of views also took place during the Secretary General’s meeting with Ambassador Ravinatha P. Aryasinha, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies. The ambassadors discussed various regional security issues and the role of multilateral institutions in a broader historical context, and explored ways to enhance the work of the Think Tank Forum, including its intersessional activities.

Moreover, Ambassador K. Sarybay met with Mr. Nalinda Wijerathna, Director of Commerce at the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, to discuss strategies for intensifying the country’s engagement in the Business Council. The CICA Secretary General informed the Director of Commerce about the ongoing efforts to enhance the Business Council’s intersessional activities, to promote its synergy with the CICA Think Tank Forum and invited Sri Lanka to propose topics for CICA Business Council’s future plenary sessions and business fora.

Concluding the visit, K. Sarybay had an engaging meeting with Mr. Buwaneka Herath, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Lands of Sri Lanka, and heads of the Ministry’s institutions. The Secretary General encouraged Sri Lanka, as the co-coordinator of the Tourism priority area within the framework of the CICA Catalogue of CBMs, to leverage CICA as a platform to raise awareness about the country’s tourist potential among all Member States.



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