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SRI LANKA AND VENEZUELA AGREE TO FORGE CLOSER BILATERAL TIES

15-As part of an Asian tour undertaken to promote closer cooperation between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Asian countries, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for Asia, Middle East and Oceania of Venezuela, Ruben Dario Molina visited Sri Lanka from 24 to 28 August 2019.
The Venezuelan dignitary held official talks with the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake on 27 August at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where both sides discussed modalities to forge closer cooperation between the two countries.
A draft Agreement to formalize a Political Consultation mechanism between the two Foreign Ministries, enabling a structured dialogue and enhancing bilateral ties for the mutual benefit of the two countries was discussed. Furthermore, a draft Agreement on the Exemption of Visas for holders of Diplomatic and Service passports was also shared with the Sri Lankan side with a view to facilitating official travel between Sri Lanka and Venezuela.
During the meeting, Sri Lanka emphasized its increased focus towards the Latin America region and both countries committed themselves towards a Road map to renew and expand their trade and economic cooperation, as well as, people to people contacts.
State Minister Senanayake conveyed the best wishes of President Maithripala Sirisena to the Government and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  Venezuela is the current Chair of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) of which Sri Lanka is a founding member.
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and senior Foreign Ministry officials were associated with State Minister Senanayake at the meeting. Vice Minister Molina was accompanied by Mr. Nestor Enrique Lopez, Minister Counsellor of the Venezuelan Embassy in New Delhi, which is concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka.

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