State Minister Defends President’s Foreign Trips, Highlights Gains in Partnerships and Diplomacy State – Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Taraka Balasuriya, has defended the President’s recent foreign trips against criticism. He dismissed claims that the trips were unnecessary, emphasizing their importance in strengthening Sri Lanka’s foreign relations and securing new partnerships.
Mr. Balasuriya stressed that Sri Lanka cannot afford to be isolated on the global stage.
He argued that foreign relations are crucial for the country’s development, and that the President’s visits are essential for building bridges and fostering cooperation with other nations. He dismissed criticisms of the trips as baseless, asserting that they play a vital role in Sri Lanka’s pursuit of progress.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya, speaking at a press briefing today (01) titled ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country,’ held at the President Media Centre (PMC) highlighted recent efforts to attract investment and rebuild the nation.
Sri Lanka’s recent diplomatic efforts have focused on economic recovery and international cooperation. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, President Wickremesinghe and the Foreign Minister engaged the business community in discussions on rebuilding the nation and attracting investment. This dialogue aimed to leverage Sri Lanka’s potential within the global market.
Furthermore, the President’s participation in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Kampala addressed broader geopolitical concerns. Discussions centred on navigating the current power dynamics and Sri Lanka’s long-term economic trajectory within the context of the evolving global landscape by 2050. These engagements highlight Sri Lanka’s proactive approach to securing its future through international partnerships and strategic economic planning.
President Wickremesinghe’s participation in the G77 + China Summit addressed crucial issues like climate change and epidemic threats, particularly their impact on developing nations like Sri Lanka. Discussions included strategies for managing economies in the face of these challenges, and exploring the transition towards a green economy.
The state minister defended the president’s foreign trips, emphasizing their importance for Sri Lanka’s development. He acknowledged criticisms but dismissed them as unfounded, highlighting the benefits of participation in international conferences. These events, he argued, provide opportunities to build new connections and strengthen existing relationships, which are crucial for a country seeking to avoid isolation and achieve progress. In his view, foreign official trips play a vital role in strengthening foreign relations and fostering development.
The ability to engage directly with private sector leaders opens doors for political leaders to make development decisions tailored to specific needs and investments. This fosters collaboration and potentially accelerates progress.
The recent visits served a dual purpose. Firstly, they solidified the “offline policy,” suggesting a renewed focus on domestic affairs. Secondly, discussions addressed the crucial issue of preventing regional spill over from the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. By collaborating with regional leaders, the state minister expressed confidence in containing these conflicts. He further emphasized the contribution of these interactions to global peace, State Minister Tharaka explained.
The state minister extending an invitation to foreign leaders to continue the dialogue on economic and social measures while suggesting a commitment to international cooperation and collective problem-solving.