Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to undertake a visit to Sri lanka, 11-12 November 2009

Pretoria – International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, supported by Deputy Director General for Middle East and Asia, Ambassador Jerry Matjila and senior government officials, will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 11 – 12 November 2009.

The visit is undertaken within the context of deepening South-South cooperation and strengthening bilateral relations between South Africa and Sri Lanka. In addition the visit will afford Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane an opportunity for greater understanding of the political, social and economic dynamics in Sri Lanka, following the end of civil strife in May 2009.

During the visit discussions between Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and her Sri Lankan counterpart will, among other issues, focus on:

  1. Bilateral relations between the two countries;
  2. Dates for the 3rd South Africa – Sri Lanka Partnership Forum in 2010;
  3. Regional Issues; and 
  4. Multilateral cooperation.

Relations with Sri Lanka remain cordial but there is great potential for even stronger ties between South Africa and Sri Lanka. Diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka were formally established on 12 September 1994 through the exchange of Diplomatic Notes. In terms of trade and opportunities for future South-South multilateral and bilateral diplomatic co-operation, Sri Lanka is becoming an increasingly important country for South Africa.

The second Partnership Forum took place on 16 and 17 February 2009 at senior officials level. Relations were strengthened as further cooperation was established in the areas of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Education, Water Affairs, Taxes, Intelligence Services and Transport.

As a testimony to the fast growing relations between the two countries the Sri Lankan Eye Donation Society donated five corneas to the Pretoria Eye Bank in a ceremony held on 04 November 2009 in Pretoria. This last donation marks the 100th cornea donated to South Africa over the last few years.
For more information contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

09 November 2009

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