By Sherwani Synon
Fresh talks between the Sri Lankan government and a delegation of the European Union (EU) held last Friday has yet to yield a breakthrough on extending the GSP plus trade benefits for Sri Lanka which will expire in just over a month.
When contacted by Daily Mirror online, the head of delegation for the European Union in Sri Lanka Ambassador Bernard Savage said there were no new developments since the latest talks held last week with External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris.
Sri Lanka is set to lose GSP mid next month after a set of conditions put forward by the EU were rejected by the government on the basis that it violated Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
However External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris met a delegation of European Union Ambassadors in Colombo on Friday to reiterate Sri Lanka’s position on the EU conditions but added that the government is willing to consider constructive proposals in order to obtain GSP.
When asked if the EU was considering a fresh set of proposals to Sri Lanka despite the lack of time with Sri Lanka set to lose GSP on 15 August, Ambassador Savage said he was not aware of such a move as yet.
Minister Peiris had told the EU envoys on Friday 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 EU letter sent to the Sri Lankan government last month. (Daily Mirror online)