RIYADH: The Sri Lankan government has nominated Ahmed Aflal Jawad as the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila told Arab News on Sunday.
“The Foreign Ministry has nominated Director General for Economic Affairs Ahmed Aflal Jawad as the country’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia to the High Post Committee of Parliament for formal approval,” Bhaila said, adding that the new envoy would likely be approved and posted to Riyadh before the Haj in order to have an envoy in time to help Lankan pilgrims.
Last year, around 6,000 Sri Lankans performed Haj and this year the Colombo government has requested an increased quota of pilgrims.
Jawad succeeds Abdul Ageed Mohamed Marleen who died in his sleep on June 23 in a hotel room in Sanaa, Yemen, while attending a meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.
Jawad joined the Sri Lankan foreign service in 1988 as deputy chief of protocol and subsequently served in Stockholm, Paris and Beijing as third secretary, first secretary and minister, respectively. In 2004, he became the island’s ambassador in Oslo. In 2007 he became the director general of economic affairs at the Foreign Ministry.
An old boy of the Royal College of Colombo, Jawad excelled in his curricular and extra-curricular activities before graduating from the University of Ceylon. He is the son of prominent social worker M.F.A. Jawad, who was the personal assistant to Sir Razick Fareed, the acclaimed leader of the Sri Lankan Moors.