Sri Lanka wants to strengthen its bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia


Colambo – The Saudi-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association’s new leadership promised on Saturday to strengthen bilateral ties by emphasising interpersonal relationships, which have benefited from the Kingdom’s emphasis on tourism.

The legislative organisation, which was founded in Riyadh in 2002, seeks to improve ties between Sri Lankan lawmakers and Saudi Shoura council members in all areas of collaboration.

The association’s newly elected president, Environment Minister Naseer Ahamed, told Arab News that he will concentrate on economic, political, social, and cultural issues during his term.

“I look at the need for stronger relations in the larger context of the Middle East and South Asia region and geopolitical priorities,” the speaker stated. “I want to advance that,” the speaker said.

Ahamed has long-standing ties to the Kingdom and is a graduate of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He began his political career in Sri Lanka in the 1990s and has held positions as chief minister of Eastern Province, president’s adviser, and a member of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

He was chosen in April of last year to head the Ministry of Environment and manage Middle Eastern issues.

Ahamed stated that he prioritises the value of inter-personal relationships in forging closer linkages between nations.

“Our goal is to promote interpersonal relationships. Now that Saudi Arabia has opened up to tourists, this can be done more simply,” he said, alluding to the Kingdom’s massive investment in tourism infrastructure under Vision 2030.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, a Saudi Shoura team last travelled to Sri Lanka in 2019.

Ahamed stated that he intended to strengthen communication among the members of the legislative organisation in order to foster fresh international partnerships.

The two nations “could develop new areas of cooperation in a number of areas,” he said. The association will offer the required framework for expanding cooperation to new areas of interest.

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