State Minister Defends President’s Foreign Trips, Emphasizing Crucial Role in Sri Lanka’s Global Standing
February 06, Colombo (LNW): Foreign Affairs State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya has staunchly defended President Wickremesinghe’s recent foreign travels, countering criticisms by underscoring their significance in fortifying Sri Lanka’s international ties and forging new partnerships.
Rejecting assertions that the trips were unnecessary, Balasuriya emphasized the vital role they play in preventing Sri Lanka from becoming isolated on the global stage. He argued that fostering robust foreign relations is integral to the country’s development, asserting that the President’s visits are instrumental in establishing connections and promoting cooperation with other nations. Dismissing criticisms as unfounded, the State Minister emphasized the pivotal contribution of these trips to Sri Lanka’s progress.
During a media briefing titled ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ at the PMC on Thursday (1), the State Minister outlined recent endeavors to attract investment and rebuild the nation.
Sri Lanka’s diplomatic focus has centered on economic recovery and international collaboration, with President Wickremesinghe engaging the business community in discussions on rebuilding the nation and attracting investment at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The President’s participation in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Kampala addressed broader geopolitical concerns, emphasizing Sri Lanka’s proactive approach to securing its future through international partnerships and strategic economic planning.
The State Minister highlighted President Wickremesinghe’s participation in the G77 + China Summit, where discussions delved into pressing issues such as climate change and epidemic threats. The importance of managing economies in the face of these challenges and transitioning towards a green economy was emphasized.
Balasuriya defended the President’s foreign trips, acknowledging criticisms but dismissing them as baseless. He underscored the benefits of participating in international conferences, citing the opportunities they provide to build new connections and strengthen existing relationships. According to the State Minister, these engagements are crucial for a country seeking to avoid isolation and achieve progress.
In addition, Balasuriya pointed out that direct engagement with private sector leaders during these trips opens doors for political leaders to make development decisions tailored to specific needs and investments, fostering collaboration and potentially accelerating progress.
The recent foreign visits not only solidified the ‘offline policy’ with a renewed focus on domestic affairs but also addressed the imperative of preventing regional spill-over from conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. Collaborating with regional leaders, the State Minister expressed confidence in containing these conflicts and emphasized the contribution of these interactions to global peace.