The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Tanzania, Bernard Membe, called on the Minister of External Affairs, Prof G. L. Peiris on 12 November in Colombo.
Welcoming the Tanzanian Foreign Minister who is in Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM), Minister Peiris stated that he looked forward to a productive CHOGM which would focus on priorities and practical values. He also stated that he looked forward to closer interactions with Tanzania and the African continent.
Responding, Tanzanian Foreign Minister Membe who is on his first visit to Sri Lanka, thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minister Peiris for the warm hospitality extend to his delegation and stated that his first impressions of Sri Lanka have been very positive.
He stated that hosting the CHOGM 2013 was a victory for Sri Lanka and underlines the commitment of the Commonwealth to Sri Lanka and the efforts made by the country in strengthening relations. He also called for equal treatment among Commonwealth countries and the need to encourage small states for their initiatives in the developments undertaken by them in various spheres.
Endorsing the views of his counterpart, External Affairs Minister, Prof Peiris stated that Sri Lanka was looking forward to the goodwill and support of the Commonwealth members after having overcome a long-drawn internal conflict. He also stated that Sri Lanka was keen to build on the solidarity in Africa and had applied for Observer Status in the Organization of African Unity (OAU). He pointed out that as Sri Lanka shared many commonalities with Africa, it would be of mutual benefit to enhance and strengthen shared ties.
The two Ministers agreed to work towards a productive CHOGM in Colombo, says the Ministry of External Affairs