October 19, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
Prime Minister meets Vice-President of the European Commission
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has met with the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini, in Brussels. The two leaders discussed Sri Lanka’s national reconciliation process.
The EU has increased its development assistance to Sri Lanka to EUR 210 million for the years up to 2020, which is almost double the amount provided between 2007-2013. The funds will finance various projects, including those relating to the government’s reconciliation efforts and the resettlement of Internally Displaced People.
International Trade Minister presents National Trade Policy draft
International Trade Minister, Malik Samarawickrama, has presented the National Trade Policy draft to the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) on 17 October, for the input of the GMOA. The National Trade Policy framework aims to provide a strategic trade policy for Sri Lanka.
Members of the GMOA have recommended that a Presidential Commission be appointed to hold public consultations and receive input from relevant stakeholders to further develop the draft.
Defence Secretary makes visit to China
The Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, has visited China at the invitation of the Chinese Government. Secretary Hettiarachchi met with the State Councilor and Minister of National Defence of China, General Chang Wanquan, to strengthen cooperation in defence.
The visit coincided with the 2nd Defence Cooperation Dialogue, at which both parties signed an agreement worth CNY 120 million for the provision of military assistance and Offshore Patrol Vessels to Sri Lanka.
President of Philippines on state visit to China
The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has arrived in China for a three day state visit. President Duterte is expected to meet President Xi Jinping to rebuild ties with China, the second largest trading partner to the Philippines.
The Presidents are expected to witness the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding that aim to further strengthen ties between the countries. President Duterte is also expected to meet the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang.
The EU and China hold high-level dialogue
The EU and China held the 6th annual EU-China High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Brussels. Discussions took place under the theme of “Strengthening Policy Coordination, Promoting Sustainable Growth.”
At the dialogue, the EU and China agreed to address structural market access issues to ensure barriers are eliminated, and to explore synergies between the Investment Plan for Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative.
UN announces ceasefire in Yemen
The UN has announced that a 72 hour ceasefire will come into effect in Yemen on 19 October. The Foreign Minister of Yemen, Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi, confirmed that the Yemeni President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has agreed to the ceasefire.
The Houthi rebels have welcomed the ceasefire, on the condition that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition halts attacks and lifts blockades in Houthi-held territory. The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, stated that all parties agreed to the cease