Search form

Last updated: 4 min 24 sec ago

You are here

Saudi Arabia

Envoy sees Saudi-Lanka ties soaring to greater heights

The bilateral relationship between the Kingdom and Sri Lanka would reach new heights in the coming years, observed the island’s senior minister of Urban Development Abdul Hameed Fowzie, who wrapped up a brief visit to the capital on Tuesday.
Fowzie, who came as a special envoy of the island’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, met Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, on Tuesday. He also had discussions on matters of bilateral interests with the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah on Monday. He also handed a letter to the Crown Prince from his country’s president.
Sri Lankan Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy was also present during the talks with the Saudi officials.
Describing his talks with the Saudi officials as cordial, Fowzie said that he took the opportunity to thank the Saudi leadership for its extensive help to his country to boost several of its development projects.
He said the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has been instrumental in financing several projects in the island. “The recent construction of the longest bridge in Kinniya stands as a symbol of Saudi-Lankan partnership,” he stressed.
“The 396 meter-long bridge, the longest overpass in the island was constructed with the financial aid of SR440 million from the Saudi government. The new facility has triggered the economic and cultural development envisaged by the government following its defeat of terror in the island,” the minister said adding that Trincomalee is one of the main cities in the eastern province. More than 10,000 people cross the Kinniya lagoon daily between Kinniya and Trincomalee.
He also thanked the Saudi government for deploying his country’s workers in the Kingdom. “The Kingdom is home to 550,000 Sri Lankans. They have earned a good reputation for their hard work and perseverance, and they have contributed a great deal to the nation’s development,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia is fair to all nationals living in the country.
Fowzie, who also looks after the Umrah and Haj operations in the island, said that Muslims in Sri Lanka are happy and content with the government and it has not laid any restrictions for Makkah-bound pilgrims.
About 7 percent of the 24 million people in Sri Lanka are Muslims. Fowzie counts more than five decades of service to the community in the political arena.

MORE FROM Saudi Arabia