SL accords a great deal of importance to Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka accords a great deal of importance to the Indian Ocean, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane said.

Officials of the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s (IORA) Member States gathered in Colombo for the Twenty Fifth Meeting of the IORA Committee of Senior Officials.

The two-day meeting from 9-10 October 2023 was chaired by Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane.

Senior level participants from the twenty-three (23) IORA Member States of Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen attended the meeting. There was an Interactive Dialogue between Senior Officials of the Member States and Dialogue Partners of China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Türkiye, United Kingdom and United States of America on the second day of the meeting to review the future plans with IORA.

In her opening remarks, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane welcomed the delegates representing the membership of the IORA family and its Dialogue Partners and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the newest Dialogue Partner of IORA. She thanked Bangladesh for its leadership of the Association for the past two years and congratulated India for assuming the role as the Vice Chair of the Association.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane appreciated the commitment of all Member States to make IORA a vibrant organization and efforts made by them for strengthening the IORA as a platform to address issues of common importance. Noting that Sri Lanka was assuming leadership of IORA after two decades, having previously held the Chairmanship from 2003 to 2004, she emphasised that Sri Lanka accords a great deal of importance to the Indian Ocean.

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