The European Union (EU) expressed confidence in the ability of the Sri Lankan Government in continuing to honour commitments arising from GSP+ requirements despite the apparent slow progress in some areas of concern.
European Commissioner Christos Stylianides expressed these views upon meeting Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana and National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva along with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini at the EU Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.
Commissioner Stylianides welcomed the significant improvements taken place in Sri Lanka since the election of the new Government.
Issuing a statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the European Commission at the meeting announced an additional sum of Euro 40 million for trade facilitation and to support Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts.
Minister Marapana conveyed appreciation to the EU for restoration of the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka.
He also exchanged views on areas of mutual concern related to improving human rights standards through reform of legislation to bring it in line with international standards and the implementation of the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka.
Minister Marapana said that new mechanisms have been introduced in Parliament to have wider consultations with all political parties on bringing about reforms.
He stated that this process takes more time but the Government is firmly committed to respecting human rights and making progress in the implementation of its international obligations.
Minister Marapana explained to the EU that progress also being made on constitutional reforms. (DM)