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Jan 22, 2017

Sri Lanka initiates action to establish links with African Union

Sri Lanka initiates major diplomatic move towards establishing closer relations with the African Union (AU) headquartered in Addis Ababa, with the opening of its resident mission in Ethiopia next month.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will ceremonially declare open the Sri Lankan embassy in Ethiopia on February 02 with a view to enhance political, trade and economic relations with the African country in the presence of Ethiopian foreign minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and senior officials.

Sri Lanka's Ambassador-designate to Ethiopia, Sumith Dassanayake has already assumed office and he will present his official credentials to President Mulatu Teshome shortly.

Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia in 1972. With the establishment of diplomatic relations, Sri Lanka's Ambassadors to Kenya were concurrently accredited to Ethiopia while Ethiopia's Ambassadors to India were accredited to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka and Ethiopia are both members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and G-77, and cooperate with each other in areas of mutual benefit including in multilateral fora such as the UN.

The newly established Sri Lanka Mission in Addis Ababa will also be accredited to the African Union (AU), consisting of 54 countries in Africa.

Sri Lanka obtained accreditation status in the African Union (AU) in April 2014 as a non-African State and accordingly, the newly appointed Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Addis Ababa will represent the Government of Sri Lanka at the African Union as an Observer in his capacity as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the African Union.

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