The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the European Union Grace Asirwatham, who is completing her tour of duty in Brussels by the end of December 2023, had a farewell meeting with Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director of the Asia Pacific Department of the European External Action Service (EEAS), on November 28, 2023.
During the meeting, Ambassador Asirwatham and the Deputy Managing Director shared insights into the growing relations between the EU and Sri Lanka, expressing mutual appreciation for the existing cooperation and understanding. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the performance of the bilateral mechanisms, such as the joint commission, working group on governance, rule of law, and human rights, working group on trade and economic cooperation, and working group on development cooperation, and reviewed the arrangements for the next meetings to be held in early 2024. They also considered the progress achieved in the identified areas under the GSP Plus facility and acknowledged the need to take further action to expedite reaching the desired results.
The Deputy Managing Director commended Sri Lanka’s unwavering commitment and proactive engagement in the ministerial meetings of the EU’s Indo-Pacific cooperation strategy. Furthermore, there was optimism that, as the current chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Sri Lanka will play a pivotal role in the upcoming ministerial meeting scheduled to take place in Brussels early next year.
Highlighting the close and constructive cooperation between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Sri Lanka Mission to the EU, Deputy Managing Director Pampaloni extended congratulations to Ambassador Asirwatham for her dedication to elevating bilateral relations.
The farewell meeting concluded with a luncheon hosted in honour of the outgoing Ambassador Asirwatham.