Julie Bishop, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia on the sidelines of the CHOGM Foreign Ministers meeting had productive discussions with Prof G L Peiris, in finding solutions to curb irregular maritime arrivals to Australia.
The new Australian strategy “operation sovereign borders” was discussed with agreement by both parties to co-operate. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop re-emphasized Australia’s gratitude for the proactive stance taken by Sri Lanka to effectively address this humanitarian challenge.
Prof Peiris in response appreciated the Australian government’s positive engagement with Sri Lanka and the support and encouragement extended in Sri Lanka’s hosting of the CHOGM. Amongst the other issues discussed were the optimum utilizing of AusAid for the socio-economic development of the country and further encouraging investor confidence in carving out a mutually beneficial partnership. Australian Foreign Minister also briefed Prof Peiris on the new Colombo Plan which is expected to strengthen involvement in the Asia Pacific region in the field of education.
Premier Tony Abbott’s visit for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in Colombo was highlighted as a re-assuring factor in shaping the course for future Australia – Sri Lanka relations.