Sri Lanka to host IORA Council of Ministers meeting in Colombo; Jaishankar set to attend

COLOMBO, Oct 8: Sri Lanka will host the pivotal Council of Ministers Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) on October 11, which will be participated by senior leaders of 16 countries, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the foreign ministry here said on Sunday.

The Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of IORA, the largest and pre-eminent organisation in the Indian Ocean Region with 23 members and 10 dialogue partners.

Sri Lanka will assume the chairmanship of IORA for the period 2023 to 2025 at the 23rd Council of Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Colombo.

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar is among the 16 ministers to attend the October 11 meeting, the foreign ministry said.

“The Council of Ministers meeting in Colombo will see the participation of 16 ministers, including the foreign ministers of Bangladesh, India, Iran, Mauritius, Malaysia and South Africa,” it said.

The meeting will also see “ministerial and senior-level participation from Australia, Comoros, France, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen (member countries) and from China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Türkiye, the UK and the United States of America (dialogue partners),” the ministry said.

The ministers will deliberate on ways to cooperate on the six priority areas, including trade and investment; maritime safety and security; fisheries management; disaster risk management; and blue economy.

Foreign Minister Ali Sabry will chair the Council when the current Chair, Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen will hand over the chairmanship to his Lankan counterpart.

The visiting ministers will also make a collective call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe, hold bilateral discussions with foreign minister Sabry as well as with other ministers during their stay in Sri Lanka. (PTI)