Sri Lanka on its Way to Strengthening Ties with Central Asian States

Sri Lanka seems to have taken some progressive steps in the field of foreign policy after the new government came in. This progressive step in the field of foreign policy has recently been observed in the Central Asian States in the country of Uzbekistan. This shows the sign that Sri Lanka, a beautiful island in the Indian ocean, will be spreading its wings to the far north in the Central Asian States.

The Long-Run

Sri Lankan ambassador to Republic of Uzbekistan Prof. M.D. Lamawansa has been making trips to important ministries this week in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent. These trips include a meeting of the delegation from the Sri Lankan embassy with top officials of the respective Uzbek ministries. These heavy-scheduled meetings will last for four days.

Foreign Ministry

One of the meetings was held in the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan. There, Prof Lamawansa met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Sidikov Furkhat. According to the ministry and Sri Lankan embassy, the meeting was carried out in a friendly environment, where the relationship between the two nations was discussed. Furthermore, the developments in the ties and any opportunity that could enhance the relationship was also brought under the discussion.

Moreover, First Secretary Nirosha Herath and Personal Assistant to the Ambassador Olessya Romanova attended the meeting and so did the Head of Foreign Ministry Directorate responsible for the surveillance of South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa Eshonov and the Head of South Asia Division Sharipov.


Sri Lankan ambassador also held a meeting at the education ministry in Tashkent. Sri Lankan ambassador was welcomed by Uzokboy Begimkulov, Deputy minster at the ministry. Uzokboy is also the director of the International Cooperation Department. As both nations have an extraordinary figure in literacy rate, that is with 96% in Sri Lanka and 99% in Uzbekistan, both sides shared their expertise and policies of their educational system. There were discussions on cooperating on the matters of courses, training and even direct links between educational institutes.

Trade and investment

Sri Lanka has pulled up its economy in the last decade after a devastating 3-decade long civil war. It now looks forward to investments from different countries. Ambassador visited the ministry of investment and foreign trade, where he met the deputy minister Kudratov. As an agricultural country, Uzbekistan shared its files with the Sri Lankan delegation and discussed investments in a different sector, as well as, technology and various trade opportunities. The delegation also held a meeting with the Deputy Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Tourism and Sports

As a double landlocked country, Uzbekistan looks forward to bringing in tourism. Recently, it established its Ministry of tourism and sports. The Sri Lankan delegation also visited the ministry. Sri Lanka holds a good portfolio in the tourism sector. The meeting was between the Head of International Affairs and Protocol Department Nadira Berdimuratova. It also included the Chief of Marketing Department and leading Tour Operators of Uzbekistan Aziz Mirdjalilov. The attendees shared their expertise and skills in tourism and sports and discussed collaboration.

Long-run Worth Enough?

After the new government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, we might be looking towards a change in Sri Lankan foreign policies. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Colombo a few weeks back during COVID time. During his visit, the two countries registered on various collaborations. We might be looking towards shifting Sri Lankan foreign policy that is now looking to strengthen itself diplomatically. How true it is, only time will tell.


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