State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya leads Sri Lankadelegation to the First Session of the Sri Lanka – Saudi Joint Commission

The First Session of the Sri Lanka – Saudi Joint Commission which was formed under the
framework agreement that the two countries signed in 2003 was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
from 21 to 23 May 2023.
The State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya along with the Vice Minister of

Human Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser Abu Thunain co-
chaired the Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission during its two-day proceedings deliberated vital areas of cooperation,
ranging from trade, economics, environment, investment, foreign employment, energy, finance,
transport, communications, agriculture, education, sports, humanitarian work, culture, judicial
matters, and security. At the conclusion, the two ministers signed the outcome document which
detailed the follow-up action in the agreed points of discussion.
Delivering the opening remarks at the Joint Commission, State Minister Balasuriya mentioned
that the bilateral relations will be further strengthened based on the successful deliberations of
the Joint Commission.
Expressing the hope that the outcome would open new vistas for investment and diversification
of economic and employment prospects, the State Minister thanked Saudi Arabia for the
generous hospitality accorded to the delegation and the constructive discussions held.
During the visit, the State Minister Balasuriya and Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Foreign
Affairs Waleed Al Elkheriji signed the MoU on Political Consultations between the Ministries of
Foreign Affairs. The MoU provides a platform for both countries to discuss matters of mutual
interest regularly. The two ministers also recalled the excellent cooperation between the two
countries in the international arena.
The State Minister further commended the leadership and the humanitarian assistance provided
by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to evacuate nationals of many countries, including 32 stranded
Sri Lankans from the Republic of the Sudan recently.
The State Minister also delivered a keynote address at the business meeting organized by the Sri
Lanka Professional Association (QS Chapter) with a view to exploring opportunities for the Sri
Lankan construction sector in development projects in the Kingdom. The B2B meetings
organized by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce provided opportunities for the visiting Sri
Lankan business delegation to find potential business partners.

The delegation for The First Session of the Sri Lanka – Saudi Joint Commission comprised
senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and
Foreign Employment, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Investment
Promotion, Ministry of Technology and the Colombo Port City Economic Commission and was
assisted by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Saudi Arabia P. M. Amza and the Mission officials.

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