The Sri Lankan government had talks with heads of missions and representatives of EU Member States and the European Union in order to discuss matters relating to the future of the EU GSP+ process, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said today.
According to the statement External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris had told the delegation at the meeting yesterday the Sri Lanka will consider constructive proposals by the European Commission on GSP plus, which did not compromise the dignity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
The Minister stated that he had noted the recent statements made by the Ambassador of the European Union in Sri Lanka relating to the EU’s wish to continue the dialogue relating to GSP+ by overcoming misperceptions and obstacles.
In this regard, the Minister reiterated that while the objective of the Government is to find a way forward with a view to restoring the benefits of GSP+ to the people of Sri Lanka, the government has clearly stated that it was not in a position to proceed on the basis of the unacceptable conditions and ultimatum stated in the letter dated 17th June 2010.
The Ambassador of the European Union thanked the Minister for External Affairs for the briefing on the position of the government on the letter sent by the European Commission on 17th June 2010. The Ambassador reiterated that the objective of the European Commission at this point was to find a way forward in a mutually acceptable manner. He also stated that the Commission will explore modalities in order to react constructively to the views expressed by the government, and resume forward-looking discussions.
The Minister agreed to consider constructive proposals by the European Commission in this regard, which did not compromise the dignity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka. The Ambassadors of EU, France and Netherlands, as well as Charges of UK, Germany and Romania were present at the Meeting, together with Senior Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs. (Daily Mirror online)