Sri Lanka decided to expedite the proposed projects under trilateral cooperation among Israel, India and Sri Lanka, a Minister said.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry told Daily Mirror that he held talks with Israel Ambassador to Sri Lanka Naor Gilon and discussed bilateral relations. The ambassador who is accredited to Sri Lanka from New Delhi was in Colombo recently to celebrate Israel’s 75 years of independence.
The Minister said he discussed the implementation of projects under trilateral cooperation and the establishment of air connectivity between Colombo and Tel Aviv for tourism.
India and Israel are planning to invest jointly in the development of the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka.
The Agriculture Ministry has initiated this move to establish the centres of excellence in Agriculture in Sri Lanka in collaboration with Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
According to an informed source, Israel will provide technical assistance by sharing knowledge and agro technologies whereas India has agreed to provide financial support to Sri Lanka, the source said.
The Agricultural Ministry has identified five locations – Horana, Seetha-Eliya, Mahailluppallama, Angunukolapelessa and Gannoruwa – for the development of cultivation of fruits, potato, non-rice cereals, legumes and oil crops. Besides, there is a proposal for establishing a horticulture research and development institute.
Earlier, the Israeli ambassador, making his remarks at the reception to mark the independence in Colombo said, “We are happy to celebrate Israel’s National Day with the people of Sri Lanka. It is very special because this year both countries are celebrating 75 years of independence. I am sure that our bilateral cooperation in different fields will only continue to grow and flourish in the coming years. I am happy to announce that we have appointed a new Honorary Consul of Israel to Sri Lanka, Mr. Dinesh Rodrigo, who will work hard to further deepen our ties. We are also looking for opportunities for trilateral collaboration with countries like India, who is our natural partner and close friend. Such collaborations have huge potential to create new avenues of cooperation in diverse fields, benefiting our peoples. I personally look forward to working closely with the Government of Sri Lanka to explore ways to strengthen our relations further.” (Kelum Bandara)