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Bangladesh foreign secretary in Sri Lanka ahead of Commonwealth meeting

English.news.cn   2013-04-19 18:58:49            

COLOMBO, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Sunday for a three-day official visit ahead of a crucial Commonwealth meeting later this month, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement here on Friday.

The foreign secretary will take part in the Second Foreign Secretary Level Consultations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which is a follow up to discussions initiated at a meeting in Dhaka in January 2011.

"Based on a Protocol signed in April 2003, which provides an institutional framework to review the full range of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka bilateral relations, Haque will hold discussions with his counterpart K. Amunugama at the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday," the statement said.

During his visit, the foreign secretary of Bangladesh will call on Minister of External Affairs G. L Peiris, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen.

Analysts expect the Sri Lankan government to use this opportunity to lobby for support from Dhaka to prevent the country being included on the agenda of the upcoming Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Meeting (CMAG).

Several countries spearheaded by Canada have been pushing for CMAG, which is headed by Bangladesh to take up Sri Lanka's sketchy human rights record and remove it as host for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, slated for November in Colombo.

After a second U.S. resolution was passed on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March, the Sri Lankan government stepped up its relations with Bangladesh.

"The discussions are expected to review the entire gamut of Sri Lanka's relations with Bangladesh with focus on exploring new avenues of cooperation and expanding existing economic relations," the statement noted.

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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