Middle East

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Quran burning in Denmark

RIYADH: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry met with Saudi ministers and officials as the crisis-hit island nation seeks to step up cooperation with the Kingdom and other Gulf states.

Mr. Subrye also spoke to his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Nayef Farah M. Al-Hajraf, Saudi Development Fund Sultan・Meeted with Al CEO. Marshad, and Islamic Development Bank officials.

Sabry said the visit to Saudi Arabia was “a success and seeing the many positive atmospheres imbued into the relationship between the two countries will further solidify and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.” Stated.

Talks between the two foreign ministers covered strengthening bilateral ties, increasing investment in Sri Lanka as a gateway to South Asia, and employing Sri Lankans in the Kingdom.


Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Saburi, has signed a double taxation avoidance agreement with the Kingdom’s Zakat, tax and customs authorities to boost trade and investment. Sri Lanka is said to be facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.

“Saudi Arabia perceives Sri Lanka as a very important geographic location, with investment opportunities in renewable energy, oil and hospitality industries,” said Sabry.

“We are interested in getting investment from Saudi Arabia in the renewable energy sector for development, energy security and making Sri Lanka a regional energy hub.”

Discussions also took place on the resumption of flights between Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka following the suspension during the pandemic.

To strengthen trade and investment ties between the two countries, the visiting ministers “here signed a double tax avoidance agreement with Zakat and the Income Tax Authority.”

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with the government battling shortages of foreign income, runaway inflation and recession.

The Sri Lankan minister thanked the Kingdom for helping the International Monetary Fund and the Paris Club with their debt restructuring.

The Paris Club of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lanka’s debt and a 15-year debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s currency crisis.

Sri Lanka is also in talks with the IMF to secure a $2.9 billion bailout, deemed essential to get the economy back on track.

Sabry highlighted the long-standing relationship between Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka and the former’s support in international fora.

“Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia have been traditional friends for a long time. To strengthen bilateral relations, we need to support each other, especially in multilateral fora (UN and other institutions),” he said. He said.

“They[Saudi]have supported us when we were unfairly cornered by some powers for no reason. They have stood by us many times. So we need to strengthen that relationship.”

Sabry and Al-Marshad discussed development issues of common concern and the Sri Lankan Minister commended the Kingdom’s efforts to develop the country’s infrastructure through SFD projects.

The minister’s talks with Hajraf focused on Sri Lanka’s relationship with the GCC.

“The GCC is very important. We are considering signing a framework agreement with the GCC and would like to facilitate it as soon as possible,” Sabry said.

Regarding discussions with Taha and OIC observer status, Sabry said: Traditionally, we have had good relationships. “

Sabry also reassured Taha about the situation in Sri Lanka’s Muslim community.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2240761/saudi-arabia Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Quran burning in Denmark

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